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'60 Minutes' Wednesday edition axed
Reshuffling of CBS' primetime lineup will also kill 'judging Amy' 'Joan of Arcadia' and 'Listen up'.
May 18, 2005: 12:50 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN) - The CBS Television Network has canceled the Wednesday edition of its news magazine "60 Minutes" as part of a rejiggering of its fall primetime schedule.

CBS also yanked dramas "Judging Amy," "Jag," and "Joan of Arcadia" as well as the comedy "Listen Up," starring former "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander.

Instead, CBS said it would add four new dramas and two new comedies to its primetime lineup this fall. One upcoming show, the "Ghost Whisperer," stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as a young newlywed who communicates with the dead.

The CBS announcement Wednesday morning came just hours before network executives were scheduled to pitch their fall offering to advertisers. All six networks are presenting their coming lineups this week in New York City. NBC, a General Electric unit, went first Monday. The WB, owned by Time Warner (Research), and ABC, a Walt Disney (Research) property, followed Tuesday.

Fox, the News Corp. (Research) network, is due to unveil its schedule Thursday.

The presentations are part of an annual ritual when networks vie for advertising dollars for the coming television season. With roughly $9 billion in advertising at stake, the network courtships are full of glitz and competitive jabs.

Heading into this year's "upfront," as the advance sales season is known, CBS and ABC are considered to be in the strongest position. CBS has long dominated ratings, due largely to the huge success of its "CSI" crime drama series and "Survivor" reality show. While CBS is known to draw an older audience, it's been drawing more younger viewers in recent years.

CBS is expected to finish the season No. 2 among 18-49 year-old viewers, the demographic that commands premium ad rates. Thanks to its blockbuster "American Idol" talent show and this year's Super Bowl broadcast, Fox is expected to finish in first place.

From the look of the shows that CBS cancelled and the ones it added, the network is catering even more to young adults.

The Wednesday edition of "60 Minutes," launched in 1999, will run for the rest of this season and there will be repeat shows during the summer, according to a network spokesman. The cancellation does not affect the Sunday edition of "60 Minutes," which will stay on the air.

Dan Rather, who recently stepped down as anchor of the CBS Evening News, is expected to work on the Sunday edition of "60 Minutes."

CBS is owned by Viacom (up $0.01 to $34.51, Research), whose shares were little changed in morning New York Stock Exchange trading.  Top of page

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