CW shuts down 'Bells,' ends 'Heaven'


It's a wrap for "7th Heaven" and David E. Kelley's midseason dramedy "The Wedding Bells."

"Heaven," which debuted in 1996 on WB Network and now airs on the CW, will have its series finale May 13 in its regular 8 p.m. slot.

Meanwhile, production will be shut down on "Bells" after completion of the seventh episode.

After receiving decent sampling in its premiere behind "Idol," "Bells" quickly faded when it moved into its regular Friday time slot, most recently drawing 4.5 million viewers and a 1.5 rating/5 share among adults 18-49.

"While we've been pleased with the show creatively, and David's writing was first-rate, ('Bells') just didn't secure the ratings we'd hoped for," Fox said.

Four episodes of "Bells" have aired. For now, the network said it intends to air the remaining three segments.

"Bells," from David E. Kelley Prods. and 20th TV, starred Teri Polo, KaDee Strickland and Sarah Jones as three sister running a wedding-planning business.

The hourlong final episode of "Heaven," titled "And Away We Go," will mark the second time the show was scheduled to have a series finale.

"Heaven's" 10th-season finale aired on WB in May amid much fanfare about it being the series closer, delivering its highest marks in more than two years with an episode that appeared to wrap up many loose ends in the show about a minister (Stephen Collins) and his sprawling family.

But the CW, which launched in September after the merger of WB and UPN, gave "Heaven" a last-minute renewal in May, announcing that the show would return in fall 2006 in its signature 8 p.m. Monday slot as part of the CW's inaugural lineup. In October, the network switched its Sunday and Monday lineups, moving "Heaven" to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Season-to-date, the series is averaging 3.4 million total viewers and a 1.3 rating in the network's target demo of adults 18-34.

"Heaven," whose debut on Aug. 26, 1996, marked the first-ever Monday broadcast of the then-fledging WB, will bow out as the longest-running family drama on television.

"Heaven" was created by Brenda Hampton, who also serves as executive producer along with Chris Olsen and Jeff Olsen. The series is produced by CBS Paramount Network Television in association with Spelling Television.