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CBS ‘Falcone’ on hold

Mob drama pulled in wake of Littleton shooting

NEW YORK — The tragic shootings at Columbine High School have, at least temporarily, claimed another victim: The CBS drama pilot “Falcone.”

Mob series from producer Mark Johnson had been considered one of the Eye’s hotter drama contenders for the fall, with many industry insiders expected the show to land a berth Mondays at 10 p.m. But CBS Television prexy Leslie Moonves Wednesday admitted that the post-Columbine mood of the country impacted the net’s scheduling process and ultimate decision not to order the Columbia TriStar Television/CBS Prods. show for fall.

“When you’re screening a pilot a week after that happened and you’re seeing guys shot, you’re affected by that,” Moonves said Wednesday at a breakfast meeting with journos. “You cringe … It’s not the right time to have people being whacked on the boardwalk at Coney Island.”

Moonves said he wasn’t conceding that TV and movies are completely to blame for a violent society. At the same time, he said, “Anybody who doesn’t pay attention to what’s going on and totally says the media has nothing to do with it is an idiot.”While the Colorado shootings may have played a role in the Eye’s decision on “Falcone,” network insiders say the pilot was also hurt by scoring only so-so results when tested with viewers, particularly females who might not have been in the mood for a bullet-filled hour in the aftermath of Columbine High. CBS sales execs were also said to be lukewarm toward the show.

Nonetheless, Moonves isn’t ruling out ordering “Falcone” as a midseason backup, calling the show a “top-quality pilot.”

Meanwhile, WB execs are still considering whether to air an edited version of next week’s season finale of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which contains scenes of students acting violently toward authority figures.