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Fox Disappointed In Low Ratings For New Sitcom Eat At Taco Bell

LOS ANGELES—Despite their "great disappointment" in the show's low ratings, Fox executives announced Monday that they are standing by the four-week-old sitcom Eat At Taco Bell.

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The series, which focuses on the lives of seven New York City twentysomethings who meet at a neighborhood Taco Bell each day to eat and hang out, has averaged less than a three share in the Nielsen ratings since its April 3 debut.

"We really had high hopes for this sitcom, and we still do," said Fox vice-president of programming Jonathan Bosch. "I'm confident that, with a little retooling and a possible time-slot change, Eat At Taco Bell will find its audience. Before long, millions of Americans will be tuning in each week to watch Lisa, Matt and the rest of the gang get into crazy adventures, talk about love and sex, and eat delicious Taco Bell food."

Bosch spoke highly of next week's episode, in which the ever-scheming Andre gets into hot water when he has dates with two different women on the same night at Taco Bell.

The cast of Fox's <I>Eat At Taco Bell</I>.

"All heck breaks loose when Andre has to run back and forth to opposite sides of the restaurant, struggling to keep track of the conversations he's having, and trying to eat a Double Decker Taco Supreme with one date and a Chili Cheese Burrito with the other," Bosch said. "Let's just say that, by the end of the evening, Andre has had more than his fill of mischief—and delicious Taco Bell food."

Also on the horizon, Bosch said, is an episode in which Melanie pretends to be a Taco Bell employee to impress a date.

"When Melanie sneaks into the food-preparation area and tries to make a Seven-Layer Burrito untrained, it's complete pandemonium," Bosch said. "And it's all because she wanted her date to think she worked in a fun atmosphere with flexible hours and competitive wages."

While Eat At Taco Bell finished a respectable 21st in the Nielsen ratings its first week, it has since slipped dramatically. Last week, it finished an abysmal 109th, beating only WB's The Parent 'Hood and CBS's Buy Sherwin-Williams Paint.

In an effort to boost ratings, Eat At Taco Bell producers have scheduled numerous guest appearances for upcoming episodes, including Living Single star Queen Latifah, who will drop by the restaurant later this month to enjoy a Mexican Pizza and small drink with the gang.

Other celebrities slated to appear in coming weeks include David Alan Grier, Knots Landing supervixen Donna Mills, and Star Trek's George Takei, who stirs up big trouble when he challenges Rebecca to a Tostada-eating contest.

Despite the low ratings, Eat At Taco Bell advertisers are maintaining their support of the struggling program.

"We believe this is a quality show that deserves to be seen. And, as such, we will continue to demonstrate our strong faith in Eat At Taco Bell by advertising on it," Pepsico CEO Christopher Burwell said. "I am confident that, given the opportunity, this bold and daring new program can revitalize the sitcom format in much the same way that Steak and Chicken Gorditas are revitalizing the old-fashioned taco."

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