By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 22, 2002 12:00 PM

After only two weeks, NBC has dumped Hank Azaria’s new comedy series, “Imagine That,” from its lineup, blaming poor ratings, the network announced. The sitcom’s Tuesday night time slot will be filled with reruns for the time being, and Azaria, 37, can still be heard on the Fox series “The Simpsons.” The cancellation reinforces the ongoing troubles established stars often have launching their own shows. Two “Seinfeld” alums, Michael Richards and Jason Alexander, both quickly flopped when they launched their own sitcoms, as did celebrated chef Emeril Lagasse. Last season, Geena Davis struggled on her sitcom before ABC ultimately pulled the plug, while CBS bailed out of Bette Midler’s sitcom before the season ended. Part of the problem, media buyer Sharianne Brill told the New York Post, is that often networks hire stars before anybody even has a concept for a show. “That’s very misguided,” she said. (On “Imagine That,” Azaria played a TV comedy writer who often assumed the persona of his creations.) Meanwhile, in other TV news, reaction to the 30th anniversary celebration of CBS’ s daytime game show “The Price Is Right” took its producer and host Bob Barker, 78, by surprise late last week, reports the Los Angeles Times. Though only 900 seats were available for the taping at Las Vegas’s Rio Hotel and Casino, says the paper, some 5,000 people showed up. According to Vincent Cannito, a spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department: “They ran out of tickets and people started yelling . . . These weren’t bad people, by any stretch — just tired, agitated people who stood in line. The show obviously has quite a following.”