Abrupt finale for FX sophomores

Prod'n ends on 'Dirt,' 'Riches' seasons; pickups possible

There will be less "Dirt" and "Riches" on FX's schedule this year.

In a sign of what's in store for the series whose production was impacted by the writers strike, FX has opted not to produce more episodes of the two series' second seasons.

"Dirt," from ABC Studios, and "The Riches," from Fox TV Studios, ceased production in December after completing seven episodes as they ran out of scripts.

With an end to the writers strike in sight, one of the biggest dilemmas networks are facing is whether to resume production on all of their series that had been idled by the work stoppage and how many additional episodes to order of the shows they opt to bring back this season.

It is understood that FX's decision to cut back the episode order on "Dirt" and "Riches" stems from economic reasons and does not affect the two series' chances for a third-season renewal. The cable network already has launched a marketing campaign for the March 2 premiere of "Dirt," starring Courteney Cox. The launch date for "Riches," starring Eddie Izzard, will be announced next week.

Still, abruptly cutting story lines midway through the season will have to be frustrating for the fans as well as for the series' creators who had a lot riding on Season 2.

Neither "Dirt" or "Riches" was a breakout hit in their debuts a year ago. The network brass did a lot of crunching of cume ratings numbers before renewing both series in May.
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