‘Lake’ drained, ‘Agency’ up

Eye shows facing evaluation

CBS has drained “Wolf Lake,” but the news is better for fellow frosh Eye drama “The Agency.”

The net placed the spooky thriller “Lake” on hiatus after four airings Monday, while ordering five additional scripts of the spook drama “Agency.”

Despite a teaser campaign that promised partial nudity (viewer discretion advised, of course), auds didn’t howl for “Wolf.” The Big Ticket/CBS Prods. drama averaged only 6.6 million viewers, down 40% from what the Eye’s Wednesday night movie pulled in the 10 p.m. hour last year.

CBS execs are mulling how to fill the show’s timeslot, but haven’t yet made a decision. Candidates include the John Wells drama “Citizen Baines,” which has languished on Saturdays.

The Eye had previously announced plans to air an edited version of “The Concert for New York,” which was telecast by sibling cabler VH1 on Oct. 13, in “Wolf Lake’s” timeslot this week.

Little animal attraction

“Wolf Lake” followed the creepy goings-on in a small town where residents can morph into wolves. Lou Diamond Phillips starred as a sheriff who comes to town to investigate the disappearance of a prominent town leader’s daughter.

After picking up the series, CBS reworked the show’s original pilot, making a number of tweaks such as turning star Lou Diamond Phillips’ character into a law officer. Exec producers Alex Gansa and Rick Kellard also added thesps such as Sharon Lawrence and Mia Kirshner to the cast, which also included Tim Matheson and Graham Greene.

CBS had hoped to attract younger eyeballs with “Wolf.” The net at least brought more young males to the hour, posting 29% gains among men 18-34 and 10% among men 18-49 vs. last year’s femme-focused movie.

But overall, “Wolf” was down 9% among all adults 18-34 and 18% with adults 18-49.

Rooting out viewers

As for “The Agency,” produced by Studios USA and CBS Prods., the script order could be a good sign that CBS is close to picking up the CIA drama for a full season. While not a ratings blockbuster, “Agency” has nonetheless given the Eye year-to-year increases in the tough time period opposite NBC’s “ER.”

“Agency” also has suddenly found itself relevant as the U.S. continues its war on terrorism. The show had already filmed an episode about anthrax when the disease became a real-life threat. That seg airs this Thursday.

(Josef Adalian contributed to this report.)

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