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‘Place,’ ‘Home’ run

Veteran Fox, ABC series to wrap this season

Fox’s sexy sudser “Melrose Place” and ABC’s family sitcom “Home Improvement” will officially exit the airwaves at the end of the season.

Spelling TV’s “Melrose Place” is ending its run after seven seasons and 227 episodes. “Home Improvement” has run eight seasons and still ranks as one of ABC’s top comedies.

Generally a solid performer, “Melrose Place,” which airs Mondays at 8 p.m., has been on the decline for the past year. This season, the show has averaged a 4.8 rating and 13 share among adults 18-49, down two shares from last season’s 5.8/15.

” ‘Melrose Place’ will go down in TV history as a pop culture icon of the ’90s,” Fox said in a statement. ” ‘Melrose Place’ is one of my all-time favorite shows,” added exec producer Aaron Spelling, “and I will miss it and everyone involved very much.”

“Home Improvement’s” departure has been expected for about a year, but there had been speculation that ABC would make a last-ditch effort to keep the show for another year. Waffling by ABC entertainment honchos at the recent press tour added fuel to the fire, as did the show’s continued winning performance in the new 8 p.m. timeslot this season.

The show’s stars have made it clear, though, that this season would be it, and the network confirmed that notion Friday. “I want to devote my time to modeling my line of stainless steel thing underwear for men,” star Tim Allen said in a statement.

Fox has several big dramas, including a “Party of Five” spinoff, that could fill the Monday 8 p.m. slot. ABC will have a tougher time replacing “Home Improvement” Tuesdays at 8 p.m., although frosh comedy “The Hughleys” is a likely contender.

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