- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 25, 2005

Head’ will roll

The 2005-06 television season is barely a week old, but poor ratings have already claimed its first victim — the Fox legal drama “Head Cases.”

Fox pulled the show after just two airings, saying it has “had its last air date,” reports Zap2it.com. The series, which starred Chris O’Donnell and Adam Goldberg as mismatched lawyers whose only common bond was time in a mental institution, got hammered in its Wednesday time slot — primarily by ABC’s “Lost” but also by UPN’s “America’s Next Top Model.”

In its place, Fox will air original episodes of “Nanny 911” for the next two weeks. The night will then be given over to coverage of the baseball playoffs and World Series for the rest of October.

“Trading Spouses” will take up residence in “Head’s” 9 p.m. slot beginning Nov. 2.

Everybody’ wins

“Everybody Hates Chris” lived up to expectations. In fact, it may have outdelivered them, attracting 7.6 million total viewers and thus making it the most-watched comedy premiere in UPN’s history.

Thursday’s premiere of the network’s much-buzzed-about new comedy, created by and featuring voiceover by Chris Rock, finished ahead of NBC’s “Joey” at 8 p.m. among adults 18-49, reports Media Life magazine — making it the No. 2 program in a very competitive time slot. CBS’ “Survivor: Guatemala” finished first in the 8-8:30 p.m. slot.

ABC’s reality woes

A Syracuse, N.Y., family says it’s been harassed since its unflattering appearance on the ABC reality show “Wife Swap.”

Jeremy and Vicki Felix have had to get an unlisted phone number, request protection and even move their two children out of their North Syracuse home since the “Wife Swap” episode aired Tuesday, said Wilma Felix, Jeremy’s mother.

“It’s a nightmare. There’s been nothing positive about this,” Wilma Felix says, adding that her son and daughter-in-law now deeply regret their decision to appear on the popular reality show. They received $5,000 for their appearance, she says.

During the show, Jeremy Felix, 29, was portrayed as a racist, acknowledging he used the N-word at home. The show’s theme is to have two wives switch families for two weeks. In this episode, Vicki Felix, 27, who is white, traded places with Neicey Wiggins, a 40-year-old black woman from North Carolina.

On the show, Miss Wiggins angrily confronted Jeremy Felix about his racist language. Mr. Felix promised never to use the word again.

The Felixes have declined to be interviewed about “Wife Swap.” A spokeswoman for ABC said the producers have hired private security for the family.

The incident marks the second time ABC has faced criticism for one of its reality shows in as many weeks.

Deleese Williams, who had been selected for a transformation on “Extreme Makeover,” filed a lawsuit against the network Sept. 9, claiming its decision to cancel her appearance on the program contributed to her sister’s suicide.

End of the ‘Affair’

The recycled news magazine “A Current Affair,” which ran for a decade its first time around, has been canceled less than eight months after returning to the air.

According to Associated Press, the Twentieth Television series, which resurfaced in March with host Tim Green, will be replaced by “Geraldo at Large,” a half-hour news show with Fox News Channel’s Geraldo Rivera.

“A Current Affair,” locally seen weeknights at 11 on WTTG (Channel 5), will air through October. Mr. Rivera’s show will take over its time slot in November.

“We are very proud of the effort put forth into ‘A Current Affair,’ which displayed some exceptional work but has not resonated with audiences in the larger markets as well as we would have liked,” Bob Cook, Twentieth’s president and chief operating officer, said.

The syndicated “Affair” first aired from 1986 to 1996 with Maury Povich and Maureen O’Boyle serving as anchors. The new show debuted last March with Mr. Green, a former NFL player, author and Fox Sports commentator.

The New York-based “Geraldo at Large” will air live each weekday covering news stories with correspondents and field reporters, according to Twentieth Television.

Mr. Rivera, who joined Fox News Channel in 2001 and is a correspondent and host of the Saturday evening show “At Large,” will remain with the channel, a spokeswoman said Wednesday. He signed a new four-year contract in June.

The Fox Television Station group includes 35 stations in 26 markets that cover nearly half of American television homes.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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