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‘Witchblade’s’ on hold as Butler enters rehab

Actress voluntarily checked herself in, prod'n stopped

Production on signature TNT drama series “Witchblade” has been halted while series star Yancy Butler enters a rehabilitation center for alcohol treatment.

A statement from the show’s producers Thursday said that the actress voluntarily checked herself into rehab and that production was temporarily halted.

“Witchblade” is produced by Top Cow Prods. and Halsted Pictures in association with Warner Bros. Television.

Six of the 13 episodes that were ordered for the season are in the can, and the preem of the second season remains scheduled for June 16. The first two episodes are to air back to back from 8-10 p.m. that night, and the remaining four episodes are set to air at 9 p.m. the following Mondays.

Insiders close to the show said the producers intend to go back into production in the next few weeks, upon a hopefully successful completion of Butler’s treatment. While those same insiders said the producers and network plan to stick with Butler if at all possible, they have put feelers out for a replacement.

Series is a crucial element of TNT’s primetime lineup and widely considered the most successful original series in the cable network’s history.

During the show’s 11-week run last summer on Tuesdays at 9, it boosted the time period’s cable household ratings and key demos by double digit percentages. The episodic preems averaged north of a 2.0 cable household rating.

“Witchblade” follows the story of a New York City detective, portrayed by Butler, who comes into possession of a mystical and powerful weapon that she uses to fight crime and evil.