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Upfronts: James Woods says goodbye to TV

May 13, 2008 | 10:21 pm

They say it helps to have friends in high places, but sometimes, not so much.

When CBS announces its lineup Wednesday, "Shark" will not be on it. It doesn't matter, apparently, that actor James Woods and CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves have been friends for many years. Woods' first TV series is gone. (An earlier version of this post said Moonves was CBS' chairman. He is the network's chief executive.)

But the highly energetic actor isn't taking it too hard, though he admits he'd like a better understanding of why CBS broke up with him.

"We're a little baffled by the decision but we’re very supportive," Woods said Tuesday. "None of us can figure out quite why.  But we have no bad feelings. This show did an enormous amount for me personally. We all won doing the show."

Woods said he and the cast and crew were "very saddened" that the show didn't continue but they were trying to be positive.

"I think probably the strike was as devastating to our future as it was to many other shows," he said.  "It seems, in retrospect, not to be a very fruitful endeavor for a lot of people to be on strike. But particularly on us because our time slot had been moved against football for the first half of the season. And then we should have emerged and shown our strength in the second half of the season when the strike happened, some never got a chance to prove our mettle."

As in all breakups, the key is acceptance and moving on. Woods is ready.

"I've been offered a couple of movies and I'm very excited about that," he said.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

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