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Eye delays ‘Agency’ anthrax episode

CBS postpones segment for second time

HOLLYWOOD — CBS has again decided to postpone the telecast of an anthrax-themed episode of its new CIA drama “The Agency.”

Seg, which revolves around a terrorist plot to unleash the deadly bacteria in the U.S., was supposed to air in late September. It was delayed in the wake of the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attacks.

Eye execs then reskedded the episode for Oct. 11. But when President Bush decided to hold a primetime news conference that evening, CBS shrunk its entertainment sked for the night down to two hours — thus bumping “The Agency” episode one more time.

Now, with real anthrax scares popping up from Reno to Washington, CBS officials have decided that the time isn’t right for a fictional story about the bacteria.

“As the anthrax fear has spread, it became clear that we couldn’t broadcast this episode now,” an Eye spokesman said. “We don’t want to do anything that adds to the country’s fears.”

The spokesman added that Eye officials still believe the seg is a “well done episode” that isn’t exploitative in any way.

No word yet on when the episode will air. The series’ pilot, which dealt with a bin Laden-related group of terrorists, was also pulled in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

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