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FROM THIS EPISODE

This is Associated Press TV writer Frazier Moore watching television... KCRW... watching vultures start to circle.... know how this plays: Another fall season full of promises... new shows introduced with endless hype... then, even before... the confetti has settled,... Grim Reaper makes... entrance.... death is already in the air with this season officially just... weeks... and with no fewer than five of... networks'... dozen... series... yet on... air.

Of course, media prophets of doom began their forecasts back last... when each network's lineup... first announced.

Not that experts always know what they're talking about. Those media analysts applauded NBC's Kidnapped as a drama with potential, while dismissing CBS' apocalyptic Jericho as... too dark. Turns out, viewers... rejecting Kidnapped, while... audience... Jericho is growing.

But however things... a TV rule of thumb says about two-thirds of... shows... destined to bite... dust before... season is over. For instance: Last fall, 31 shows premiered.... are back.

So we... look... maybe eight of this fall's newcomers to die by next summer.... already... seems close to flat-lining:... Fox sitcom Happy Hour... had... last call (for now, anyway).

Yanked after three airings, will it ever return?... insists yes.... that's an interesting thing about death at... networks. It isn't always acknowledged, even when it happens right in front of viewers' eyes.

In... TV biz,... chosen term... indefinite absence is "hiatus." Like... might say, "Back in 1970, Jimi Hendrix went on hiatus from... many drugs."... "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still on hiatus."

Hiatus is that limbo state failed TV shows... get stuck in, like... tortured souls on Ghost Whisperer... plead with Jennifer Love Hewitt to free them so they... go to... light.

Never mind if... word "cancellation" is taboo, Happy Hour is poised to be... season's first one.... this particular flameout is of no surprise to anybody, least of... those frequenting a... Web site that makes a parlor game of series handicapping.

Last month... Bravo network launched Death Watch, Fall 2006, part of... "Brilliant... Cancelled" franchise. It's a contest that gives participants... make... right call... chance to... a video iPod (not to mention dance on... graves of fallen series).

When I last checked, Happy Hour held... shakiest position. It was listed as "comatose."

ABC's Anne Heche comedy Men in Trees... next, with 3-to-1 odds of an imminent demise.

But interestingly, contestants... already forecasting... fate of other shows neither they,... any other viewers, have seen.

ABC's sitcom The Knights of Prosperity... precarious 9-to-1 odds, even though it won't premiere until Oct.... What's going... Are these prognosticators... off by... prospect that, with "knights" in the title,... show might be... in medieval times? Do they condemn the premise, which is... goofballs burglarizing Mick Jagger's magnificent apartment -- do they think it's advocating criminal behavior? This seems like somewhat of a rush to judgment, doesn't it?

But in... end, what difference does it make? I mean, many of the networks' midseason replacements have been announced... are... to go.... if there's... thing we... count on while we watch... fall series flop, it's this: There's plenty more where they came from.

Watching television... KCRW, this is Associated Press TV writer Frazier Moore.


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