ABC Ditches Daisies, Keeps Mars

In its mid-season programming shuffle, ABC has decided to ditch three of the five series it premiered last season.

After struggling in the ratings during the writer’s strike last season, ABC gave “Pushing Daisies,” “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Eli Stone” a second go around and ordered 12-13 episodes of each of the series in the hopes to pull in a bigger audience.

It hasn’t paid off. As a result none of the three shows have had further episodes ordered and will wrap up shortly. With those three gone and long-running “Boston Legal” coming to a close on December 8th, four prime positions on the ABC schedule are open – which in the interim will be partially filled by the return of “Lost” and “Scrubs.”

The network has also picked up the US remake of “Life on Mars” however for a full season. The series has comfortably settled at a solid viewing audience of just under nine million each week.

The big question with that show will be how subsequent episodes will play out. The original UK series had sixteen episodes, half of which have already seen many of their best scenes and plotlines directly copied by the US remake.

That well however will dry up by about February, leaving the creators to survive on their own material which has sometimes worked (the darker pilot ending) and sometimes not (the Wall-E robot with future flashes rather than the creepy floating test pattern girl).