CBS feasts on 'Shark' season


CBS has given a back-nine pickup to the freshman drama "Shark," bringing the total order for the show to 22 episodes.

Meanwhile, the CW has handed out its first back-nine orders to rookie comedy "The Game" and the veteran drama "7th Heaven," which also have been picked up for a full season.

"Shark," from 20th Century Fox TV and studio-based Imagine TV, stars James Woods as charismatic, self-confident defense attorney-turned-prosecutor Sebastian Stark.

In its five airings to date, the show has averaged 14.4 million viewers and a 4.1 rating/11 share among adults 18-49, ranking No. 2 in the Thursday 10 p.m. slot. In its most recent airing, the drama scored its best rating in adults 18-34 (2.9/9) and matched it best adults 18-49 performance (4.2/11). While it's holding on to a so-so 53% of its "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" demo lead-in, that is better than the 50% retention "Shark's" predecessor in the time slot — crime drama "Without a Trace" — logged in its first five airings. It also beats the 41% lead-in retention in 18-49 for ABC's freshman drama "Six Degrees" in the same time slot.

"Shark" is executive produced by Ian Biederman, Ed Redlich, Rod Holcomb, Brian Grazer and David Nevins.

"The Game" debuted Oct. 1 as part of the CW's Sunday night comedy block, which last week switched to Monday nights. The 9:30 p.m. series, a spinoff of lead-in "Girlfriends," is averaging 2.6 million viewers and a 1.3/3 in the CW's target demo of adults 18-34 after three original episodes and is retaining 93% of its lead-in in the demo.

After moving to Mondays, "The Game," which revolves around the lives and relationships of women in the lives of professional football players, saw an improvement of 25% in 18-34 (1.5/4) compared with the previous two episodes that aired on Sundays.

"The Game" is one of only two new series on the CW's first fall slate. The other series, the drama "Runaway," was canceled last week.

"The Game" is a production of Happy Camper Prods. and Grammnet Prods. in association with CBS Paramount Network Television. Kelsey Grammer, creator Mara Brock Akil and Steve Stark are executive producers.

"7th Heaven," the former WB Network series that was given a last-minute reprieve in May after airing what was supposed to be the series finale, kicked off its 11th season Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. Mondays but recently made the switch to Sunday nights. The drama is averaging 3.9 million viewers and a 1.5/5 in 18-34 after three original episodes, which is off 32% in the demo and 26% in viewers compared with last year.

"Heaven" is executive produced by creator Brenda Hampton, Chris Olsen and Jeff Olsen. It's produced by CBS Paramount Network Television in association with Spelling Television.

In addition to "Shark" and "The Game," four other freshman series — ABC's "Ugly Betty" and "Brothers & Sisters," NBC's "Heroes" and CBS' "Jericho" — have been picked up for a full season.