Here's good news, TV watchers — Fox has essentially canceled the incredibly awful sitcom "The Grubbs" before any of you had the chance to watch it. You should be grateful.

"The Grubbs" is a painfully unfunny "comedy" about a fairly average 13-year-old boy being raised by uninspired, underachieving and just plain stupid parents (Randy Quaid and Carol Kane). The pilot contained nothing to laugh at and plenty to make you wonder what in the world Fox executives were thinking when they picked up the show.

Apparently, those same executives had those same thoughts. First they cut back their original order of episodes. Then, having seen subsequent installments, they canceled plans to premiere the show next month.

Instead of "The Grubbs," Fox will put "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. beginning Dec. 1.

This isn't the first time Fox has dropped a show before it aired. In 1999, the network axed "Manchester Prep" after only two episodes were produced and before either aired.

(Those two episodes, along with some additional footage, were eventually released on video as "Cruel Intentions 2.")

In 1998, Fox ordered a show called "Hollyweird" in May, then decided it wanted to change the entire cast and the premise of the show. When producer Shaun Cassidy declined to go along, "Hollyweird" was history.

And in 1997, Fox ordered a sitcom titled "Rewind" (which starred Scott Baio) based on a presentation — a short, incomplete pilot — for the fall but dropped the show in August before a full episode was ever produced.

It's possible that the episodes of "The Grubbs" could end up airing sometime — maybe in the summer — to recoup some costs, but this show is dead. Hurrah!

QUICK CANCELLATION: In the face of abysmal ratings, Fox has pink-slipped "girls club," handing uber-producer David E. Kelley one of his worst failures ever.

Even Kelley's late, unlamented show "Snoops" lasted more than two episodes. Which is all the awful "girls club" managed.

The ratings for the first installment on Oct. 21 were awful. And they got worse this week, with a million fewer viewers tuning in. And that was all it took.

For Kelley, the creator/executive producer of "Ally McBeal," "The Practice," "Boston Public," "Chicago Hope" and "Picket Fences," this is his biggest embarrassment since he produced a sitcom pilot (starring former "Picket Fences" stars Fyvush Finkel and Ray Walston) that was so bad he went out of his way to retrieve videotapes of the show so that no one would ever see it.

On Monday, Fox will air a repeat of last week's season premiere of "24" — which, by the way, was the show's most-watched episode ever — in "girls club's" vacated 8 p.m. time slot. Specials are tentatively slated for the rest of November, although if the "24" repeat does well that could become a regular thing.

ALSO GONE: In more good news, CBS has pulled the plug on the hideous sitcom "Bram and Alice" after four airings. Apparently, America was not enamored of a show in which a lecherous middle-aged guy hits on his daughter — the ratings started bad and got worse.

CBS has already planned to air a movie on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. No word on what will happen after that.


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