by Michael Schneider

CBS Extends 'Now & Again'

The bionic man has an extended lease on life: CBS Tuesday committed to a full season of rookie drama ''Now & Again,''
supplementing its initial 13-episode order with one for nine.

After five episodes, the Friday night drama has averaged a 3.9 Nielsen rating among adults 18 to 49, up 63% over its time period average last year. The series leads its 9 p.m. time period in the key demographic, a rare feat among CBS series.

The drama has also averaged a 7.3 rating/13 share in households, up 22% vs. last year.

"Now & Again'' stars Eric Close as the product of a top-secret government experiment to take the brain of a recent fatality and build a bio-engineered man. Dennis Haysbert, Margaret Colin, Heather Matarazzo and Gerrit Graham also star.

``When I first was told of the (Friday night) time slot, I was dubious,'' said creator and executive producer Glenn Gordon Caron. ``But it seems to be working. We're getting people to watch the show.''

Caron also said he was "stunned'' by the show's mostly positive reviews.

CBS has already picked up full season orders for its other two freshman dramas, "Judging Amy'' and "Family Law.''

October 27, 1999