Originally created 09/24/05

'Head Cases' is first cancellation of new season



LOS ANGELES - The ax fell quickly on Fox's "Head Cases," the first series of the new TV season to be canceled.

The legal comedy-drama starring Chris O'Donnell and Adam Goldberg was yanked after its second airing Wednesday, in which its audience dropped by about half from the first episode.

The series finished in fifth place for its 9 p.m. EDT time slot, drawing just about 3 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research figures. Its competition included ABC's "Lost," which drew a series-best audience of about 23 million in its season premiere this week.

In "Head Cases," O'Donnell played a hotshot lawyer whose career derailed after he suffered a nervous breakdown. His efforts to make a fresh start were complicated by Goldberg's character, a fellow patient and a low-rent lawyer assigned to be his therapy "buddy."

The new season officially started this week but the Fox show got a jump on it with a Sept. 14 debut.

For now, new episodes of the reality series "Nanny 911" will air in its time slot, Fox said Friday.

The ratings news was brighter for the network itself, which is up 51 percent in viewers for the start of the new season compared to last year.