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Monday, December 6, 2004



‘North Shore’ crew
awaits word on fate

The Fox network's answer to top-rated
"CSI" may be filming its final episode

Fox TV's decision late last week not to continue filming its hotel drama "North Shore" after the holiday hiatus in January as planned was a surprise and disappointment to the producers, who had been told only days earlier it would be back.

Instead, Fox executives told the show's producers on Thursday to "fold and hold," meaning stop filming Dec. 17, one episode short of the scheduled 22, then await the network's decision whether "North Shore" will be brought back for a second season.

Episode 20 will be filmed and broadcast, while No. 21, though filmed, will not be shown unless a second season is ordered.

When "North Shore" was picked up for an additional nine episodes in August on top of its original 13 order, producers were told the production would shut down for the holiday hiatus and then return to film a few more episodes.

Later on, the hiatus began to make more sense to "North Shore" producers because Fox was considering having the production film an additional three episodes. Even when the network decided not to order the three other shows, it still insisted the production would return to Hawaii in January for filming after the holiday break.

"I suppose in the big picture of an $80 million season series, what's a couple hundred thousand to pay for shutting down two weeks?" said producer Harry Bring.

Last Tuesday, Fox did some schedule shuffling, deciding the new show "Point Pleasant" will be launched in January in "North Shore's" Thursday time slot. But even after that announcement, "North Shore" was told the holiday hiatus was in force.

"The crew, cast, everyone was happy," a production executive said. "It meant a couple more weeks work for everyone, so mainlander workers extended their leases or rents."

"They say we're still being considered for a second reason," Bring said. "We'll have to wait until (Fox) figures out its summer season to see if we're part of it."

The network likely will make that decision based on the ratings of "Point Pleasant." That means "North Shore" wouldn't know until February if it was alive or dead.

"It doesn't bode well," a production member said, "but at least we ain't dead."

If "North Shore" does return as a summer show, filming will begin in early April, Bring said.

"North Shore," which began filming here last June, first aired on Monday nights, then was moved to Thursday against top-rated "CSI" and "The Apprentice." Last week, those two shows attracted 58 percent of the potential viewing audience.

In the meantime, "North Shore's" wrap party is being planned at a Waikiki hotel for Saturday night rather than in January.



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