'Big Shots' cut down to size

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In a surprising move given the raging writers strike, ABC has benched its freshman dramedy "Big Shots."

The network has pulled the remaining three original episodes of the series starring Michael Vartan, Dylan McDermott, Christopher Titus and Joshua Malina.

The network will air repeats of another freshman series, the medical drama "Private Practice," in the Thursday 10 p.m. slot on Dec. 13, Dec. 20 and Dec. 27.

This could be a tryout behind "Grey's Anatomy," the series that spun it off.

"Shots," which landed the coveted post-"Grey's" time slot in May, was greeted with mixed reviews and a cold reception by viewers.

Still, given the dearth of original scripted programming the networks are facing with the strike possibly stretching into the new year, the nets so far have tended to keep scripted shows that under normal circumstances would have been canceled.

"Shots," along with fellow rookie drama "Women's Murder Club," have not been picked up for a full season. The other three ABC freshman one-hours, "Practice," "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Pushing Daisies," have received back-nine orders.
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