Net skeds actioner in tough Wednesday slot

Fox has given a vote of confidence to frosh dramas “Fastlane” and “John Doe,” picking up full seasons of both.

“Fastlane” has started out slowly for Fox, but net execs have been pleased with the show’s hip look and blue-sky action. “John Doe” has posted competitive numbers on Friday, where Fox has had difficulty launching skeins in recent years.

“Fastlane” and “John Doe” are Fox’s first fall series to score “back nine” pickups. Net chose to wait until now to decide its pickups due to baseball-related preemptions through much of October.

Of Fox’s other new entries, “Girls Club” has already been given the boot, while the fates of “Firefly” and “Cedric the Entertainer” have yet to be determined. Two other shows originally slated for fall, “Oliver Beene” and “The Grubbs,” have been pushed back to midseason or later.

The first five original segs of “Fastlane,” from Warner Bros. Television, have averaged a 3.8 rating/9 share among adults 18-49. The actioner, from John McNamara and McG as well as fellow exec producer Daniel Rappaport, draws an average of 7.9 million viewers.

“Fastlane” airs during what’s generally considered this season’s toughest timeslot: Wednesdays at 9.

“This is one of Fox’s bravest decisions,” McNamara said. “I’ve been on the other side of the decision at other networks, when a show was cut off too soon, so this is very nice. Fox really wants this show to work. Gail (Berman) and Sandy (Grushow) have been from day one really honest and great partners.”

‘Doe’-eyed auds

“John Doe,” which comes from Regency TV, averaged a 3.1/10 among adults 18-49 in its six airings and last week led its Friday-at-9 hour in all male demos. Brandon Camp, Mimi Leder and Mike Thompson exec produce.

” ‘Fastlane,’ which is one of the most stylish shows on television, has demonstrated a real following among our key young adult viewers, while on Friday nights ‘John Doe’ has shown great potential,” Fox Entertainment prexy Berman said.

“Fastlane,” which also comes from McNamara’s McNamara Paper Products and McG’s Wonderland Prods., stars Peter Facinelli and Bill Bellamy as undercover cops who — under the oversight of Tiffani Thiessen — patrol Los Angeles in fast cars and expensive clothes.

“John Doe” features Dominic Purcell as a man with knowledge of virtually everything, except who he is.

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