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Bend it like ‘Becker’

Vet CBS laffer replaces 'Stones' on fall sked

Things just keep looking up for the few, the proud, the “Becker” fans.

The Ted Danson laffer — which hadn’t even been renewed until a few weeks ago — has now landed a spot on CBS’ fall schedule.

“Becker” will air Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. this fall, taking the place of previously scheduled newcomer “The Stones.” CBS had originally paired “The Stones” with Monday refugee “The King of Queens,” launching a new comedy block on the night.

But Eye execs were nervous about pairing “King of Queens” with an unfamiliar sitcom on Wednesdays, where the network has had little luck in recent years (particularly with comedies).

CBS officials also had second thoughts about leading into the new David E. Kelley drama “The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H.,” which airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m., with the untested “Stones.”

Hence the return of “Becker,” which recently received a 13-episode order for midseason after airing on Sundays during the 2002-03 season.

“This move is designed to further strengthen our fall schedule and to give ‘The Stones,’ a freshman series that we are very excited about, the best opportunity to succeed,” CBS Entertainment prexy Nancy Tellem said. “By pairing ‘Becker’ with ‘King of Queens,’ we are opening a new comedy block on Wednesday with two proven and successful series.”

“The Stones” will now launch in midseason, giving the net one less new series to market this fall.

“This is a smart, funny series from a great producing team, and we want to do everything possible to ensure its successful launch,” Tellem said.

“The Stones,” from Warner Bros. TV and exec producers David Kohan, Max Mutchnick and Jenji Kohan, revolves around two adult children who live with their divorcing parents. Robert Klein, Judith Light, Jay Baruchel and Lindsay Sloane star.

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