'Wonderfalls,' 'Cracking' among shows sitting on net's shelf

As if to sharpen the point that its new summer crop isn’t burn-off theater, Fox is keeping some shows off its new lineup.

Net has so far not scheduled a number of shows that aired earlier this season but are sitting on the shelf with numerous unaired episodes, such as “Playing It Straight,” “Wonderfalls” and “Cracking Up.”

Also not on the sked are two shows announced last May but which so far haven’t aired: “The Ortegas” and “Still Life.”

“The Ortegas” is a laffer/gabfest hybrid Fox had insisted for months would air this summer. Skein is now expected to be shelved forever, though Fox Entertainment prexy Gail Berman declined comment.

Producer Gavin Polone also refused to discuss speculation that Fox will have to pay a hefty penalty if it doesn’t air “The Ortegas.”

“When it comes to Fox, I have no expectations,” he said. “I have a plan for ‘The Ortegas,’ but I can’t comment on anything that relates to my deal with Fox.”

Polone said he feels “very strongly that ‘The Ortegas’ will air,” though he didn’t say if he meant on Fox or another net. As for Fox’s refusal so far to schedule the show, “It may not have been up to the standards of ‘Luis’ or ‘Stan Hooper,’ but I think it’s a great show,” he said.

As for “Life,” a heart-tugging drama that elicited a strong emotional response from many advertisers when it was previewed last May, skein had been buzzed about for a Thursday bow this summer but now may not air until July or later. Fox’s option on the actors expires June 30.

Also absent from Fox’s sked: reality sudser “Forever Eden,” which has been quietly pulled from Fox’s lineup in favor of movies. Production on the rest of the show’s original order continues, and Berman did say she expects to see “Eden” on Fox sometime this summer.

“We love that concept, and we’re making some structural changes inside the show,” she said.

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