In what could be nightmarish news for American Dreams fans, rumors are swirling that NBC has pulled the plug on the acclaimed drama. Not true, insists an NBC spokesman, although he does acknowledge that the ratings-challenged show — a personal fave of NBC president Jeff Zucker's — will only air 17 episodes this season. "We were hoping that we would be able to increase the order to 19," he says, "but that's not going to happen." Exec producer Jonathan Prince, meanwhile, offered TV Guide Online this cryptic message via e-mail: "We definitely could use a boost from our friends in the community, as well as the viewers." Translation: Someone start that online petition but quick!