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First-year series always have a high mortality rate. Of the more than 30 shows that have been introduced this season, the only ones that look like locks for renewal are ABC's Home Improvement and Step by Step, NBC's Nurses and Law & Order and Fox's Roc and Herman's Head. But when the networks announce next year's schedules in mid-May, the shocking part will be the unusually high number of long-running series that won't be back. NBC loses The Cosby Show, The Golden Girls and Night Court. ABC won't have Growing Pains, Who's the Boss? and MacGyver. There are also big question marks over CBS's Jake and the Fatman and ABC's Life Goes On. NBC has dumped Matlock and In the Heat of the Night, which have been picked up by, respectively, ABC and CBS. (If you're a fan, don't celebrate yet: Transplanted series usually don't last long either, as evidenced by Taxi, Diff'rent Strokes and Davis Rules.)
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