Action resurrected

FX Networks picks up controversial comedy for its cable viewers

Action is not dead yet. Fox-owned FX picked up the off-network rights to the canceled network series Action from Columbia TriStar Television Distribution and plans to launch it this summer.

FX acquired all 12 episodes produced for FOX this season, five of which never aired on the network.

The comedy, revolving around a venal, amoral and foul-mouthed movie executive (played by Jay Mohr), received strong critical reviews and was one of Fox's most publicized new series coming into the 1999-2000 season. But after a poor showing in the national ratings and criticism for being too over-the-top with its language and topics, FOX executives cancelled the series midway through the season.

FOX bleeped foul language spoken by actors in the show, which earned it some notoriety but ultimately not many viewers. FX says it won't restore the salty language for the basic cable showings.

"The acquisition of Action further strengthens FX's commitment to airing creative and groundbreaking programming that takes chances," says Chuck Saftler, FX Networks' vice president of programming. "This provides a value to affiliates, advertisers and subscribers. Plus, it's terrific that we will air five previously unseen episodes."

Action joins another FOX series that was cancelled early on this season, Harsh Realm. FX is currently airing that series, from X-Files producer Chris Carter, on Friday nights. Surprisingly, it was cancelled after only three episodes last fall.

FX executives are mum on scheduling plans for Action, saying only that it will be launched sometime this summer.