‘Poland’ in Siberia

Eye to halt prod'n on Kelley drama

The pre-sweeps shuffle continues: CBS has made its first schedule change of the fall season, yanking the David E. Kelley drama “The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.”

Production has been halted on “Brotherhood,” which was shooting its seventh episode this week. Kelley visited the show’s set Thursday afternoon to break the news to the cast and crew.

Eye had aired five episodes of “Brotherhood,” which also comes from 20th Century Fox TV; it’s unclear whether the net will run the remaining segs that had already been produced.

Officially, CBS said the show was “on hiatus,” but it’s unlikely to return.

Network will fill the Wednesday at 10 p.m. slot with a mix of newsmags and specials for now.

“48 Hours Investigates” has been tapped to air there next Wednesday, Oct. 29, while “The 37th Annual CMA Awards” takes on the slot the first Wednesday of sweeps, Nov. 5.

As for subsequent weeks, “48 Hours Investigates” returns there Nov. 12 with a new interview from Robert Blake, who remains under house arrest in Malibu while awaiting trial on murder charges.

Despite boasting a stellar cast and strong auspices, “Brotherhood” didn’t catch on with critics or viewers. Show averaged a 2.2 rating and 6 share among adults 18-49, a 2.8/7 with adults 25-54, and just 6.9 million viewers.

“Brotherhood’s” the latest show to be cleared from the boards as nets prepare for a highly competitive November.

Also missing from the month: “The Mullets,” “Boomtown” and “Coupling.” Of those shows, only “Coupling” is expected to return come December (although UPN is also considering relaunching “Mullets”).

Kelley and Michael Pressman exec produce “Brotherhood,” which revolves around three brothers struggling with families and careers in a quirky small town. Randy Quaid, John Carroll Lynch, Chris Penn, Mare Winningham, Elizabeth McGovern and Ann Cusack star.

“Brotherhood” went through several transformations before it premiered, including a cast change that brought in Penn, and Kelley’s decision to scrap the pilot and use the show’s second episode as its premiere (Daily Variety, Sept. 17).

“Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.” was also the subject of one of the year’s more unusual TV lawsuits: A New Hampshire-based filmmaker had sued Kelley and 20th Century Fox TV, claiming it was similar to his own film titled “Brotherhood.”

Michael MacLeod had asked a U.S. District Court judge to stop the show from premiering in September. But the New Hampshire-based judge denied his request, and “Brotherhood” preemed as planned.

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