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Fox floats ‘Hope’ for full season

NBC halts production on Smits' 'Outlaw'

Fox, the first network to cancel a show this fall, has balanced things out with the season’s first frosh pickup, for laffer “Raising Hope.”

NBC, meanwhile, took the first step toward modifying its fall sked by halting production on the Jimmy Smits drama “Outlaw.”

Series featuring Smits as a Supreme Court justice who returns to the private sector as a crusading defense attorney will continue to air in the Friday 10 p.m. slot for at least the next few weeks. NBC has five completed episodes in the can, on top of the three that have already aired. Peacock said Wednesday it was taking a production hiatus on the show starting today and would evaluate its perf over the next few weeks.

While the final verdict is still out, the show’s long-term prospects look grim barring a big turnaround in the ratings.

“Outlaw” in its most recent outing last week averaged 4.7 million viewers and a 1.0 rating/4 share in the adults 18-49 demo.

Series, from Universal Media Studios and Conan O’Brien’s Conaco banner, was created by John Eisendrath, who exec produces with Russell Schwartz and David Kissinger.

Meanwhile, Fox handed out the first full-season order at any net this season with the nod to “Raising Hope,” which follows “Glee” in the Tuesday 9 p.m. slot. Fox’s move comes a week after it logged the season’s first cancellation in axing drama “Lone Star.”

All signs had been pointing to a “Hope” pickup: Fox execs have been praising the show in recent weeks. And breathless Fox promos have already proclaimed “Hope” as TV’s “new smash hit.”

The show isn’t quite a “smash hit,” but it has performed nicely in its three outings. “Hope’s” 2.6 rating and 7 share in the adults 18-49 demo on Tuesday repped a 16% dip from last week, but the show managed to up its week-to-week retention from its lead-in, the hit “Glee.”

“Raising Hope” has also made a few fans among TV critics, where the show actually outpaced all other new fall entries in Metacritic’s rankings.

Greg Garcia (“My Name Is Earl”) created “Raising Hope” and serves as exec producer. 20th Century Fox TV is the studio.

“With ‘Raising Hope,’ Greg Garcia captures a smart take on the working-class family with a great mix of wild comedy and a big dose of heart,” said Fox Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly. “The show is running like a Swiss clock, and we’re very happy with how well audiences have responded so far — so we’re confident it will build an even bigger audience throughout the season.”

“Raising Hope” stars Lucas Neff as a 23-year-old who is suddenly handed custody of an infant daughter that he didn’t know he had. “Hope” also stars Cloris Leachman, Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt and Shannon Woodward.

“I’m really happy for our incredibly talented cast and very hard-working crew. They have done an amazing job and deserve this,” Garcia said. “Me? I was looking forward so some time off, but I guess that’s not going to happen.”

The future for companion laffer “Running Wilde,” which Fox has not called a “new smash hit” in its promos, remains up in the air. But the signs aren’t good: The network announced earlier this week that it would pre-empt “Wilde” later this month with a “Raising Hope” repeat.

(Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.)

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