CBS pressing Tucci's '3 Lbs.'

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CBS is looking to bring the midseason drama "3 Lbs." earlier than expected, sources said.

The network has ordered four additional scripts of the medical drama starring Stanley Tucci and is considering launching the series next month.

The move comes amid a soft start for CBS' freshman series, especially the drama "Smith," which was pulled off the schedule Friday after three airings.

"3 Lbs.," from creator Peter Ocko and CBS Paramount Network TV, centers on the relationship between a rising-star brain surgeon (Mark Feuerstein) and the brilliant but unpredictable surgeon (Tucci) he works under.

The show already is in production on its midseason order. CBS is said to be very pleased with the episodes produced so far but is waiting to see more cuts before making a final decision about a November launch.

As of Friday night, "Smith," from Warner Bros. TV and studio-based John Wells Prods., was still in production.

For the next three weeks, CBS will run repeats of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Criminal Minds" in the Tuesday 10 p.m. slot.

"Smith" was one of the highest-profile and most expensive new series this fall, boasting Wells as a creator/executive producer and a cast that includes Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Amy Smart and Simon Baker.

After a weak start, "Smith" kept sliding in the ratings, most recently averaging 8.4 million viewers 2.8/8 among adults 18-49.
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