'Nine's' number up at ABC


Fox has reduced the order for sophomore comedy "The Loop" by three episodes.

Meanwhile, ABC's freshman drama "The Nine" has been taken off the schedule, effective immediately.

After a soft start in the spring, "Loop" received a surprising second-season pickup in May. Sources point to Fox's limited shelf space as a major reason for the cut order. Fox has two more series — the drama "Drive" and the comedy "The Winner" — on tap for midseason, with David E. Kelley's untitled wedding project also targeted for launch later this season.

"Loop," from 20th Century Fox TV, centers on Sam (Bret Harrison), the youngest executive at the corporate headquarters of a major airline who is the first of his friends to get a real job.

Seven episodes of "The Nine's" 13-episode order have aired. On Wednesday, the final night of the November sweep, ABC will air a special "20/20" in the low-rated serialized drama's 10 p.m. slot.

According to the network, the remaining six episodes of "Nine," about the aftermath of a botched robbery and hostage situation, will return later in the season. The decision mirrors ABC's move this month to bench the new drama "Six Degrees."

In its most recent airing, "Nine" averaged a minuscule 4.1 million viewers and a 1.5 rating/4 share among adults 18-49.

In other news, CBS has ordered two additional scripts from the upcoming comedy series "Rules of Engagement."

The relationship show, from Sony Pictures TV, studio-based Happy Madison and CBS Paramount Network TV, stars Oliver Hudson, David Spade, Patrick Warburton and Megyn Price. It has an order for seven episodes, including the pilot.