Fox cancels tiny ‘Ally’ experiment

'It's the most cancelable show,' Herzog sez

The Mars Polar Lander wasn’t the only junked science project this month: As expected, Fox has pulled the plug on its half-hour “Ally McBeal” experiment.

The “Ally” remix, which was conceived by series creator David E. Kelley as a way to develop more accessible versions of his hourlong hit for off-network syndication, never performed better than a typical rerun for Fox.

In its 10 outings, “Ally” averaged a 3.1 Nielsen rating and 9 share among adults 18 to 49, and attracted just 6.2 million viewers.

“Ally,” toplining Calista Flockhart, debuted Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m., where it remained until being pulled for November sweeps. The Franken-skein was down 20 percent in that time period vs. last year’s occupant, “King of the Hill.”

“Ally” returned Dec. 7, but the Dec. 28 airing was the show’s last. Instead, Fox will air the previously announced theatrical repeat “Mrs. Doubtfire” on Jan. 4.

On Jan. 11 and Jan. 18, Fox will broadcast “That ’70s Show” at 8 p.m. and a repeat of the previous Sunday’s “Malcolm in the Middle” episode at 8:30. A permanent 8:30 p.m. replacement will be announced later.

Fox Entertainment prexy Doug Herzog said in the past that “Ally” would be an easy show to replace should it fail.

“It’s the most cancelable show,” he said before the start of the season. “It’s a pretty cheap bet. If it works, great, if it doesn’t, I don’t think it’s any skin off of anyone’s back.”

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