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'According to Jim' wraps up its run

Jim Belushi says that ABC sitcom didn't get cancelled

While reporters covering the Television Critics Association Winter Tour in Los Angeles are busying themselves with unsubstantiated blog reports and speculation, Buzz has managed to get the scoop straight from Jim Belushi's mouth.

The actor-producer-director's amazingly durable ABC sitcom, "According to Jim" is officially over.

Rumors floating around the left coast this week that ABC had canceled the eight-year-old show aren't true, according to Belushi.

"We had a contract for eight years and we completed the contract," Belushi told us. "I'm moving on."

Belushi says production wrapped in November.

So why hasn't the network made an official announcement?

"I don't really know," Belushi said. "Probably because its not all that important."

Plus, the network has 12 final unaired episodes of the series it can work into its schedule when one of its mid-season replacements wobbles in the ratings.

Belushi also dished on the series finale guest-starring Dan Aykroyd, Lee Majors and Erik Estrada.

"I directed it," he previews. "We had a hell of a party."

So how exactly does he leave his TV family?

Says Belushi: "Jim never changes, let's put it that way."

While "According to Jim" was never a critical darling, it proved a long-term utility player for ABC over the years even as the network continuously bounced the show around it's prime-time schedule, taking it off the air for months at a time.

So how does Belushi explain the show's longevity?

"There's an audience out there that really likes it," he explained. "It's the chemistry that [co-star] Courtney [Thorne-Smith] and I share. It's about the relationship between men and women, between friends and between a father and his children."

Belushi says he set the show's trademark tone back in the show's 2001 pilot.

"The original script called for Jim to go to the wife and apologize," he recalls. "I said to the writers 'Why do we have to do a show where the guy is going to apologize at the end of every episode? Was he really wrong? He's contrite, sure. But isn't he just being a man?'"

Buzz was actually on the phone with Belushi to discuss his and buddy Aykroyd's long overdue Blues Brothers reunion concert here next month at The Tabernacle downtown. The duo memorably performed two gigs at the historic venue during the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Check back in next Tuesday's Buzz for our exclusive on the upcoming benefit which will include an opportunity to ride hogs with the duo, catch the concert from VIP seats and a chance to attend a Plaza Theatre screening of the classic 1980 flick, "The Blues Brothers" starring Aykroyd and Belushi's late brother John Belushi.