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Fox picks up four shows for new season

Kiefer Sutherland will still be in trouble in 2004-2005. Sutherland's "24" was among four prime-time shows Fox renewed for another season.
/ Source: Reuters

TV broadcaster Fox Wednesday renewed four of its most successful prime-time shows for the 2004-2005 season, while the fate of a few others was still up in the air.

Fox, which said earlier this week it would launch a new slate of six shows in June as part of a year-round programming strategy, ordered a new season of family comedy “The Bernie Mac Show,” real-time thriller “24,” teen drama “The O.C.” and offbeat comedy “Malcolm in the Middle.”

Fox also gave a three-year extension to its late-night sketch comedy show “MADtv,” keeping it on air through 2008.

The network had previously given full-season orders to comedy “That ’70s Show” and animated mainstays “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.”

A spokeswoman for the network said the fate of shows like the critically acclaimed comedy “Arrested Development” and the drama “Tru Calling” were still up in the air and would be decided over the next month. The network plans to announce its full fall schedule on May 20.

The spokeswoman said the early pickups were designed to allow the shows to secure their staff and talent for next season. The other networks have made the same move in recent weeks as they go through the process of selecting the new shows they will add to the new schedule.