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Crossing Over and Out

Universal is canceling psychic strip Crossing Over With John Edward
after three years on the air. The show departing at the end of this broadcast season.

The show is going out of production now, but Universal has enough shows taped to last through the rest of the season, says a spokesman.

At the beginning of this, its third season, Crossing Over
underwent a makeover. The changes didn't have make much difference, though; the show languished in sub-1.0 territory for the first three months of the 2003-04 season, averaging a 0.9 rating season-to-date, according to Nielsen Media Research. That's a 31% drop from last year's season average.

Crossing Over
entered syndication in August 2001 at the top of that season's class of first-run rookies, although the show suffered when TV stations opted to put more news on the air after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Stations moved Crossing Over
into less attractive morning time slots in major markets, notably New York and Los Angeles, to make room for additional afternoon local newscasts.

Crossing Over
airs both in syndication and on Universal's Sci Fi Channel, with original episodes airing first on stations and then on Sci Fi some three weeks later. The show also will depart Sci Fi's air at the end of this season.

"When Crossing Over entered syndication, it ushered in a new era in TV sales: the now widely used dual-platform model for first-run series, which allows TV stations and cable channels to air current episodes," says Steve Rosenberg, president of Universal Domestic Television. "Others rushed to capitalize on [Crossing Over's] success, but they did not have the staying power of this groundbreaking series."

Crossing Over isn't the first casualty of this season. NBC Enterprises' The John Walsh Show
got the axe early last month. Industry insiders also expect Sony's Ricki Lake to go off the air after this season.

Still on the fence is Warner Bros.' The Sharon Osbourne Show, which is waiting to hear whether launch group Tribune will renew it. Sources predict the show's strong performance in the young-female demographics will persuade Tribune to give it another season.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.