Few were surprised when NBC axed Lipstick Jungle, figuring that if a brutal, Project Runway-assisted title indoctrination couldn't help it gain a ratings foothold, nothing could. But wait! insists star Brooke Shields to Us. "It's not true," she said. "Our bosses are saying, 'You’re not canceled, don’t worry. We’re just trying to figure out how to make this make sense.'" Yes, if only a major media conglomerate like NBC could get the word out somehow! Still, James Hibberd writes that even though there's been a fan outcry (really?), there are other factors at play that may doom a new application of Lipstick:

Two days after the cancellation stories made the rounds, the show went up 17% in the adult demo from the week before. And the previous week's episode went up 20%. Those are big gains ... but they're big gains from small numbers. Friday had 3.6 million viewers and 1.4 rating among adults 18-49. Unless Shields is willing to work pro bono, that's still too low for a scripted drama in primetime. The show does better when DVR use is factored, but so does any scripted program suddenly moved to a Friday night. ...Only one more "Lipstick" episode is currently scheduled to air — on the next two Fridays NBC has scheduled other programming. NBC hasn't decided whether to run the remaining four hours. The network would probably love a couple more weeks of data to see if those Friday numbers keep rising, but given the holidays and the 13th episode wrapping this week, the network's final-final "Lipstick" decision, whatever it is, might have to be a leap of faith.

Sadly, by that time, a timid Ben Silverman will have scapegoated every single employee at NBC, leaving him the only one left to break the bad news to Brooke personally. "Brookie... ding ding ding! Beijing Ben here. Sorry babe, bad news: we're replacing Lipstick with a brand-new, rejiggered Manimal. But at least it'll give you some free time to work on that upcoming Estelle Getty project! Oh, sorry — too soon?" [Photo Credit: AP]