Fox, ABC put shows on cutting block

Geeks of the world, rise up: Fox has cancelled the Joss Whedon drama “Dollhouse.” Meanwhile, ABC has yanked “Hank.”

Fox’s decision on “Dollhouse” isn’t a surprise, as the net had already yanked the show from its Friday slot during November sweeps. Show will return to the sked on Dec. 4 and run the nine remaining episodes in its order for the season. 20th Century Fox TV at present is in production on the Eliza Dushku starrer’s 11th episode.

“This gives Joss the opportunity to end in a significant way,” the network said in a statement.

“Dollhouse” narrowly avoided cancellation last spring after its first season; show has struggled this fall on Fridays, however — a night that Fox hasn’t found much success over the past decade.

“Hank’s” cancellation comes as no surprise either. The Warner Bros. TV sitcom starring Kelsey Grammer had already been pre-empted in recent weeks for specials — including this week, as the net’s entire night was bumped for the CMA Awards.

ABC will air a mix of comedy repeats and holiday specials in “Hank’s” 8 p.m. slot for the time being. ABC had already picked up full seasons of its other Wednesday laffers — “The Middle,” “Modern Family” and “Cougar Town.”

“Hank’s” demise makes it two disappointments in a row for star Kelsey Grammer, who previously starred opposite Patricia Heaton (now toplining “The Middle”) in Fox laffer “Back to You,” which had the misfortune of bowing during the strike interrupted 2007-08 season.

Five episodes of “Hank” remain in the can; it’s unclear whether those shows will see the light of day. Insiders noted that the writing was on the wall for the show when ABC opted to air the show’s Thanksgiving episode early, last week.

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