The ‘Numbers’ May Not Add Up

CBS slashes episode count on Friday drama. Is cancellation next?

Last Updated: November 4, 2009 @ 4:21 PM

CBS is subtracting some numbers from "Numbers."

The network has cut the crime drama’s episode order for this season from 22 to 16, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday. While 22-episode orders for veteran shows were once considered a birthright, networks are increasingly playing around with the count — particularly when it comes to shows they own. "Numbers" is produced by CBS Television Studios.

Still, the Eye’s move is already prompting speculation that this could be the final season for "Numbers." The Hollywood Reporter, which broke news of the cutback, led its story by asking, "Are ‘Numbers’" days numbered?"

It’s unlikely, however, that CBS will make a final decision on the show’s future until May, when it reviews its roster of new development.

More likely, the network wants to open up timeslots in which it can try out new programming. Right now, the CBS schedule has very few drama holesb– an hour on Sunday (once "Three Rivers" is inevitably canceled) and now Fridays.