Picks and Pans Main: Tube

updated 10/30/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/30/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

THE SINGLES SCENE WAS SUPPOSED TO be hopping this fall on prime time. Following the phenomenal success of NBC's Friends last season, all four major networks started cranking out clones of that show. Thus we have Fox's The Crew (Friends in an airport), ABC's The Drew Carey Show (blue-collar Friends), CBS's Dweebs (really unattractive Friends) and so on. But while imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, it doesn't necessarily get you any Nielsen points. Consider that the real Friends usually ranks third among the more than 100 shows rated each week, while the aforementioned The Crew, for example, crash-landed most recently at No. 72. CBS's If Not for You, which is basically Friends in love, has already been canceled. You might think the Great Minds at the networks would have learned a lesson from all this—that the Friends glut was finished. Think again: as you read this, ABC is readying a mid-season replacement sitcom called...Buddies.

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