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CBS cuts ‘Numbers’ to 16 episodes

'Flashpoint' may take over Friday night slot

“Numbers” has been given a new one: 16.

CBS confirmed Wednesday that it had reduced the order of the Friday night drama from 22 to 16 episodes. According to Eye execs, net decided to make the adjustment in order to make room for midseason fare.

CBS has few holes on its schedule — but nonetheless has several shows on the bench, including reality skein “Undercover Boss” and frosh dramas “Miami Trauma” and “The Bridge.” Returnee “Flashpoint,” which performed decently for the Eye on Friday nights, is a top contender to take over the “Numbers” slot.

Net execs stressed caution in reading too much into the fate of “Numbers” — it is only November, after all, and a final decision on a “Numbers” renewal wouldn’t come down until May. But episodic reductions are never a good thing, and “Numbers,” now in its sixth season, is a contender for bubble status when the time comes.

Among CBS’ new shows, the fate of “Three Rivers” is still in the air — but a back-nine pickup is unlikely at this point.

In other network news, ABC announced a firm airdate for the next edition of “The Bachelor”: 8 p.m. Jan. 4.

The 14th edition of the reality series, subtitled “On the Wings of Love” this time, features Dallas-based commercial pilot Jake Pavelka. ABC also announced that this edition would be broadcast in high-definition for the first time.

And on the scheduling front, MTV has moved “Gone Too Far,” the series hosted by the late DJ AM, to the latenight 11 o’clock slot on Thursdays. Despite the frenzy surrounding AM’s death, the show has been a ratings disappointment for the channel.

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