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NBC Ready To Pull the Plug on ‘The A-Team’

November 13, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ NBC will let ″The A-Team″ expire when the show completes its 13-episode commitment for the season, a spokeswoman for Stephen J. Cannell Productions said Thursday.

″NBC did not exercise its option to buy more episodes,″ said the spokeswoman, who declined use of her name.

The entertainment industry publication Daily Variety quoted Cannell directly as saying NBC would not renew the series.

NBC spokesman Doug Mauldin said the network has not officially canceled the show, a tongue-in-cheek adventure about a group of renegade mercenaries that stars George Peppard, Mr. T, Dirk Benedict, Dwight Schultz, Eddie Velez and Robert Vaughn.

Despite efforts to brighten the show up this year with the addition of Vaughn, ″The A-Team″ has not fared well in the ratings. It was 53rd out of 76 shows in the most recent weekly A.C. Nielsen Co. survey.

The show is expected to leave the air in January when the 13 episodes have aired.

″The A-Team″ made its bow on NBC in January 1983 and was an immediate hit. In fact, for a time it was the only hit on NBC and helped lead the network out of third place in the ratings to NBC’s present position firmly in first place.

Cannell Productions also has ″Hunter″ on NBC and is readying ″Stingray″ to return to NBC after the first of the year. The company is also preparing a pilot for NBC called ″J.J. Starbuck″ starring Dale Robertson.

The company will also produce ″Jump Street Chapel″ for Fox Broadcasting Co. for a March air date.

In other shifts, NBC announced Wednesday that three drama series will move to new time slots the first week of December.

The popular, long-lived police drama ″Hill Street Blues″ will go up against ABC’s hit detective series ″Moonlighting,″ shifting from 10 p.m. EST Thursday to 9 p.m. Tuesday.

″L.A. Law,″ new this season, will move from Friday at 10 p.m. to the old ″Hill Street″ time slot, and another new show, ″Crime Story,″ replaced on Tuesday by ″Hill Street,″ will move to the ″L.A. Law″ Friday time period.

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