CBS cancels seven series

'Cold Case,' 'Ghost Whisperer' among shows getting the ax

CBS will have open slots for next season after all.

In a year in which the network was expected to lose only a few shows, it has canceled four dramas and three comedies.

The crime procedurals "Cold Case," "Ghost Whisperer" and "Numbers" will not be renewed for next season. Jerry Bruckheimer's drama "Miami Medical" also is canceled, as is fellow freshman "Accidentally on Purpose," which mainly aired as part of a Monday night comedy block. Veteran Wednesday comedies "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Gary Unmarried" also have been axed.

The network picked up "Medium" and "Rules of Engagement" for next season.

At least two of the canceled titles easily could have returned -- and, indeed, were expected to return. Opening nearly six hours on the CBS schedule will signal to ad buyers that TV's most-watched network is not being complacent and that executives have faith in their new shows.

The most surprising outcome is canceling "Ghost." The Jennifer Love Hewitt drama consistently won its Friday time period and was expected back. Another surprise was "Christine," which has been a stable if low-rated performer.

The Warner Bros.-produced "Christine" and ABC Studios/CBS Prods.-produced "Ghost" have a shot at moving to ABC, which has expressed interest in both shows. "Ghost" would make more sense for the network, which has improved its comedy offerings this season; the average rating for "Christine" is low compared with ABC's current Wednesday comedy block.

"Ghost" would be an ideal lead-in for ABC's new 9 p.m. Friday drama "Body of Proof."

As for "Cold Case," CBS was on the fence for months about the 7-year-old drama. Its ratings were admirably stable, if modest, on Sundays.

Since debuting midseason, "Miami" nose-dived at 10 p.m. Fridays, then showed signs of improvement during recent weeks once it was offered a lead-in from original episodes of "Medium." On Friday, the momentum seemed to stall, with the drama backsliding to a 1.2 rating.

"Accidentally" might wind up with the highest average rating among any canceled show this season. As part of CBS' comedy block, the Jenna Elfman starrer posted a number that would have been perfectly acceptable during most time periods. But once CBS sampled the show on less-protected Wednesdays, its ratings fell sharply, showing the network that the Monday audience was built mainly on momentum.

As for "Numbers," the drama's cancellation had been a foregone conclusion since its episode count was reduced.

CBS holds its upfront presentation Wednesday morning.