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These series are on the brink

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Regardless of whether a show has lost its spark and deserves to go to its great reward, several long-running series are winding down. Nothing is certain until the networks release their fall schedules in May, but it would appear these series may be going, going, soon to be gone:

"Friends" -- The women clearly have enjoyed big-screen success and the cast keeps insisting this is the final year, even if NBC would like to keep the gang percolating at Central Perk. A baby, often a desperate measure at resuscitation, hasn't diminished the popularity of the sitcom, which just won an Emmy for best comedy series.

"Dawson's Creek" -- The Internet Movie Database recently reported that Van Der Beek says an announcement about the end of the series is imminent. Co-star Katie Holmes is ready to move on, too, and she and Van Der Beek seem to have no trouble landing movie roles.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" -- The contract for Sarah Michelle Gellar, who starred alongside a computer-generated dog in summer sensation "Scooby-Doo," is up at the end of the current season. Ratings have been down, but the possibility of another spin-off exists, especially with the promised late-season return of vampire slayer Faith (Eliza Dushku).

"Providence" -- Melina Kanakaredes may have the best hair on TV, but this NBC drama was renewed by the skin of its teeth and may disappear after the current season due to low ratings.

"The Drew Carey Show" -- Had ABC not renewed the show for multiple seasons a few years back, it probably would have canceled this tired sitcom.

"Touched By an Angel"-- Miraculously renewed, this airs in reruns on cable's Hallmark Channel and has clearly seen better, more original days.

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