Three ABC programs hear no pickup lines


ABC made a flurry of midseason programming announcements Thursday, including ordering more episodes of "Life on Mars" and deciding against picking up "Pushing Daisies," "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Eli Stone" for a full season.

The network informed producers of "Daisies," "Money" and "Stone" that no additional hours will be ordered at this time.

Actively avoiding the c-word, the network left the door open for ordering episodes in the future, though that is considered unlikely. The trio remain on the schedule for next week, and "Money" and "Stone" will finish their current production order (on their 12th and 13th episodes, respectively). "Daisies" has finished shooting.

Starting on Dec. 11, ABC will put "Mars" on hiatus and move "Private Practice" into its time period, giving the medical drama a "Grey's Anatomy" lead-in. "Practice" will air in repeats until it returns to originals Jan. 8.

The move gives "Mars," which started production later than most fall shows, more time to stockpile some additional episodes. ABC also ordered four more hours from 20th Century Fox and ABC Studios.

"Mars" will return at 10 p.m. Jan. 28, airing after "Lost," which premieres the previous week.

ABC also set a premiere date for "Scrubs," which the network picked up this year after NBC canceled the veteran comedy.

"Scrubs" will have its ABC premiere at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6. ABC will air an hour of back-to-back episodes for two weeks, then "Scrubs" will settle in as a single half-hour at 9:30 p.m. The network hasn't announced which half-hour program will serve as a lead-in, though one likely option is the new Mike Judge animated comedy "The Goode Family."

Season to date, "Daisies" has averaged 6.4 million viewers and a 2.3 adult demo rating, "Money" averaged 6.6 million and a 2.3 and "Stone" averaged 7.9 million and a 2.1. On Wednesday, "Daisies" and "Money" hit series-low ratings, and "Stone" on Tuesday sank to match its series low.