By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 19, 1998 12:00 AM
Advertisement

The Hollywood studio DreamWorks now admits — to The New York Times, no less — that it was taking a big gamble on replacing Michael J. Fox with Charlie Sheen this season on its sitcom “Spin City.” (Fox left in order to spearhead his drive to fund research into Parkinson’s disease, which is afflicting him.) After all, this wasn’t like replacing second-banana Darren on “Bewitched,” or a member of an ensemble cast (as was the case on “Cheers,” “Law & Order” and “N.Y.P.D. Blue”), but the actual star of the show. And the outcome? Success. This fall, reports The Times, the ABC show has drawn a substantially larger audience than it did last fall and has shown strength among younger people (highly sought after by advertisers). The average weekly audience for “Spin City” is 13 million views. “It goes on without missing a beat,” says DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg. In other TV news, Fox has canceled the low-rated John Goodman show, “Normal, Ohio.”