Courtesy WB
Lynette Rice
February 02, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Here’s one for Ripley’s Believe It or Not: ”The Jamie Foxx Show” is one of the lowest-rated series on TV, but the star’s small-screen future looks brighter than ever. What gives?

His comedy remains one of the WB’s worst performers among target viewers 12-34, just ahead of the canceled ”Safe Harbor,” the animated ”Mission Hill,” and Sunday reruns of ”7th Heaven.” Yet the frog net recognizes the comedian’s newfound celebrity, thanks to ”Any Given Sunday” and his recent hosting gig on ”Saturday Night Live,” which garnered record ratings. So even if the WB does follow industry speculation and cancel Foxx’s four-year-old series in May, insiders say the network is likely to turn around and develop a new show for Foxx before anyone else snaps up the comedian-turned-movie star.

”We have a really nice relationship with Jamie in that we moved heaven and earth so we could produce the series while he starred in that movie [”Sunday”],” said Susanne Daniels, WB’s entertainment president. ”That was not an easy thing to do, but we wanted to do it because what works for him as a star, works for us as a network. If you’re Jamie Foxx, you’re saying, ‘Well, look what they did. I can have my cake and eat it too.’ He can do his show, which he loves doing and we love having, and he can be a movie star. That’s our goal here.”

Still, Foxx isn’t ready to bid his sitcom goodbye. He’s energized now that his new higher profile has bumped up the ratings for his WB show — albeit ever so slightly. That kind of exposure is ”what you live for,” Foxx says. ”You take the heat [generated from ”Sunday” and ”SNL”] and go for it. I want to do this show for as long as I can.” The challenge is convincing the WB that America still likes seeing Foxx as the goofy hotelier. Here’s a suggestion: Why not ask Katie Holmes and James Van Der Beek to check in and stay awhile?

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