Peacock’s Pride Shelved

DreamWork’s new animated primetime comedy series, Father of the Pride, is being put on the back burner at NBC. The expensive CG show has not been canceled, but will reportedly sit out the November sweeps and return in December with the remaining six episodes.

After drawing an impressive 11 million viewers with its late August premiere, Father of the Pride has been slipping in the ratings, leading NBC to turn to extended installments of the hit new weight loss reality show, The Biggest Loser, to fill in the time slot during sweeps.

DreamWorks, which last week scored big with its initial public offering, will not lose money if Father is indeed cancelled. The show’s production bill, which reaches nearly $2 million per episode, is entirely footed by NBC.

The peacock network has taken a blow with the departure of long-running, high-rated sitcoms Friends and Frasier and new shows have largely failed to fill the void. The axe has already fallen on the new action series, Hawaii, and the highly promoted drama LAX is teetering on the edge of cancellation. With Pride also in purgatory, viewers may be looking at a raft of mid-season replacements in 2005.

Father of the Pride used computer animation to delve into the secret lives of animals working in Siegfried and Roy’s Las Vegas act. The show boasts such celebrity voice cast members as John Goodman, Cheryl Hines, Carl Reiner and Orlando Jones.