NEW YORK – The new season may be just over a month old - but a handful of new shows are already facing the axe.
At least four new shows - "Luis," (search) "Miss Match," (search) "Threat Matrix" (search) and "The Brotherhood of Poland, N.H. (search) - have already emerged as weak spots on the networks' fall schedules, making them the most likely to go "buh-bye" in the near future.
Topping the list is "Luis," Fox's new sitcom which averaged only 3.2 million viewers last week. The show, starring Luis Guzman as the cranky owner of an East Harlem doughnut shop, is one of the lowest-rated new shows on a major network.
In Nielsen's most recent ratings chart, "Luis" was ranked 102nd out of the 133 shows in primetime.
"No decision has been made" on the show's future," a Fox spokeswoman said.
Meanwhile, former wunderkind producer David E. Kelley appears to be on the short path to the dog house. Just when it looked like he had saved his ABC legal drama "The Practice" (search) with a substantial remodeling of its cast, Kelley could be receiving bad news from CBS and Fox.
Kelley's new CBS drama, "The Brotherhood of Poland N.H.," is among the weak new shows of the season, drawing roughly 6.7 million viewers on average.
The future of the show grew even more hazy yesterday when CBS execs pulled the show from the lineup for November sweeps.
Kelley's other, more established network drama, "Boston Public," is drawing even worse ratings - only 4.4 million viewers. But industry insiders blame the low ratings on the show's new Friday-night timeslot; it used to air Mondays.
NBC doesn't seem to having much luck, either, with "Miss Match," the new show pro duced by Darren Star ("Sex and the City") and starring Alicia Silverstone as an L.A. matchmaker.
"Miss Match" snared only about 6.4 million viewers last week in its later (9 p.m.) timeslot, where it was moved after being steamrolled by CBS' "Joan of Arcadia."
But despite the low ratings, industry analyst Bill Carroll speculates that NBC is likely to give "Miss Match" more of chance to survive than it would another show - because of its star power and the high hopes execs had that it would become a hit. Still, "when all is said and done, these shows are not allowed to just stay out there and float," says Caroll. "They either sink or swim."
Meanwhile, ABC, which continues to be plagued by low ratings, has an even bigger problem with "Threat Matrix," a drama about homeland security agents.
"Matrix" also seems to have a murky future, averaging only 4.7 million viewers last week - a very small audience for a show airing Thursdays at 8 p.m.