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CBS pulls 'Armed & Famous' as 'American Idol' claims its first victim


By Christopher Rocchio, 01/29/2007 

After only two weeks, the sixth season of Fox's American Idol has begun flexing its muscles.  CBS has decided to pull Armed & Famous out of competition with the Fox mega-hit "effective immediately," Daily Variety reported on Friday. 

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The CBS reality series that follows five D-list celebrities as they work as Muncie, IN police officers made its debut three weeks ago on Wednesdays at 8PM ET/PT, and the premiere actually placed second in the ratings behind ABC's According to Jim.  But the success was short lived as Idol made a January 17 Wednesday night premiere with a two-hoour broadcast that included Armed & Famous' 8PM time slot.

Idol
averaged 34.2 million total viewers and a 13.85/33.5 rating share among Adults 18-49 while Armed & Famous averaged only 6.1 million total viewers and a 1.9/5 rating share in the Adults 18-49 demographic during its time slot.  Armed & Famous did even worse during a second showdown with another two-hour American Idol Wednesday night broadcast last week. Idol scored a 12.2/31.5 rating share among Adults 18-49 and averaged 30 million total viewers during Armed & Famous' time slot, while the CBS show posted a 1.4/4 rating/share in the same demographic and averaged 4.7 million total viewers.

Muncie Mayor Dan Canan told The Star Press of East Central Indiana on Saturday evening that Armed & Famous' producer, Tom Foreman, had predicted a "tough competition" with Idol.

"I don't understand that part of the business," Canan told The Star Press. "Tom Foreman had told us he knew that when they were up against Idol, it would be tough for them."

Variety reported that CBS has slated a CSI: NY repeat in Idol's time slot this Wednesday night, with Criminal Minds filling the same slot next week and Jericho returning with a "recap episode" on Wednesday, February 14.  Only four of the seven episodes of Armed & Famous that were filmed have aired.  The remaining episodes are expected to "surface over the summer," according to Variety.

Interestingly enough, there are no broadcasts of Idol scheduled to air when the final three episodes of Armed & Famous would have been shown.  However Armed & Famous' last two broadcasts would have come during the February ratings sweeps period -- a period during which CBS presumably thinks a Criminal Minds repeat and a Jericho recap will fair better.

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