'Bette' Bows Out

CBS has pulled the plug on Bette Midler’s troubled sitcom “Bette,” with this Wednesday’s episode to be the last original one that will hit the air, say trade reports. Production on the show has been shut down after 18 episodes, four short of the original 22-episode order. Despite a strong ratings start and somewhat promising reviews, the show faltered, with uneven writing and a constant recasting of its secondary roles. Ironically, notes Variety, Wednesday’s likely finale to the series also marks the debut of “Airplane!” actor Robert Hays as Midler’s new husband. (He replaced Kevin Dunn, who left the series a few months after its debut last fall.) In November, the PEOPLE.com Daily reported, Midler, 55, moaned on-air about her show to fellow network star David Letterman. Appearing on CBS’s “The Late Show,” Midler called her own sitcom “the lowest thing that ever happened to me in my life . . . I’m like a dung beetle pushing this ball of dung up a mountain.”

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