Peacock strips ‘Naked’ of slot

Cast floats out to sea in season ender

NBC is benching “The Naked Truth” next week after the sitcom hit the lowest rating on record for original non-political programming in the 9:30 p.m. Monday timeslot.

Next week NBC will plug a repeat of “Suddenly Susan” in its place, and after that, the sitcom is expected to return and complete most of the original episodes by April 20.

Starring Tea Leoni, Brillstein-Grey’s “Naked Truth” will not be on the air during the May sweeps period though, and its prospects for a renewal next season are poor.

The show’s executive producer, Michael Saltzman, said he’s not surprised by the move because NBC hasn’t aired more than three consecutive episodes of the series since September.

In the final episode of the season — and quite possibly the series — the entire cast will be in a hot-air balloon and will drift off to sea “with no sign of rescue,” Saltzman said.

“We thought it would be the perfect metaphor to the end of the series,” he added. If NBC does, for some reason, decide to bring the show back, “We’ll find a way to save them.”

Industry sources are speculating that NBC next season will abandon its four-sitcom “Must-She TV” strategy. The Peacock could collapse the schedule down to two of the sitcoms, “Susan” and “Caroline in the City” (losing “Fired Up” and “Truth”), followed by a new drama and “Dateline,” or the Monday movie could return.

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