Bad ‘Bette’; Locklear Lingers on ABC

So far it’s been a busy week in TV news. Here’s a quick round-up:

Not a Safe ‘Bette’:

CBS’ fledgling sitcom “Bette” has been given the ax. Though the show posted impressive ratings after its premiere last fall, recent numbers have been in the basement. Without question, CBS execs showed no hesitation in pulling the plug on the Bette Midler vehicle: Wednesday night’s episode is likely the show’s finale, even though four new episodes have already been taped.

Locklear to Take Another ‘Spin’:

Should ABC decide to pick up “Spin City” for another season, the sitcom’s leading lady has agreed to remain on board. Actress Heather Locklear has inked a one-year deal with DreamWorks Television to stay on as the show’s star, alongside Charlie Sheen, who has already committed to another season. Over the past year, “Spin” has proven to be one of ABC’s very few comedy hits.

New Newhart?:

Fans of classic comedy rejoice: Bob Newhart will likely return to the small screen next fall on an NBC sitcom also starring — for some reason — Sisqo, of “Thong Song” fame. The show, which will be about a sitcom, will portray Newhart as himself.

Chris Isaak: Comedian:

As the March 12 premiere of his Showtime sitcom nears, crooner Chris Isaak tells People magazine he’s fully expecting his share of critics, especially those who review the show’s pilot. Says Isaak: “The opening line of the review came to me in a vision: ‘Woefully miscast as himself, Isaak trudges his way through a wooden performance.’ I want to walk around clutching that paper and saying, `But they meant it in a good way.'”

‘Bench’ Warmers:

While it could be argued there are too many courtroom dramas in prime time, ABC has no objections. Casting is already underway for the new series “The Bench,” which explores the relationships between U.S. Supreme Court justices and their ambitious law clerks. Ex-“Cybill” star Alicia Witt is already on board, playing a clerk who clashes with a left-wing justice — who will possibly be played by Sally Field. Negotiations between ABC and Field are currently underway.

Stay tuned….