Fox has confirmed that it has canceled the new television series after last night's special one-hour premiere episode delivered poor ratings, Broadcasting & Cable reported late Thursday afternoon.
Anchorwoman -- billed as a "comedy/reality hybrid" by Fox -- had featured Lauren Jones, a former beauty queen and World Wrestling Entertainment "diva," trying to make it as a Texas television news anchor despite her lack of previous journalism experience. The show filmed at KYTX-TV Channel 19 -- a new 3-year-old CBS affiliate in Tyler, TX that was previously best known as the home of "Stormy the Weather Dog" -- for 30 days earlier this summer.
Anchorwoman's concept had caused a stir in Tyler and also been the subject of nationwide criticism and outrage from "real" journalists -- including some of KYTX-TV's own staffers -- that complained that the show had made a mockery of their profession. Unsurprisingly, KYTX-TV's local competitors had been among Anchorwoman's most vocal critics.
"One of the last sacred grounds of integrity in local television is the local newsroom, so I guess I would say I'm disappointed to see a station, much less one in our own community, that has evidently sold its integrity," Brad Streit, the general manager of Tyler's KLTV-TV ABC affiliate, told The Hollywood Reporter in June.
Coverage of local residents' reaction to the show's concept and her new co-workers' criticisms of Jones' performance had been a central part of Anchorwoman's premiere broadcast.
"You're going to be working with people who have a lot of thoughts and a lot of opinions on you being here and not all of them are positive," KYTX-TV owner and general manager Phil Hurley -- who openly admitted he considered Jones' hiring a ratings stunt for the low-rated fledging station -- told Jones during Wednesday night's broadcast of the Anchorwoman star's first day of work.
Fox plans to make Anchorwoman's remaining unaired half-hour episodes available through fox.com and MySpace's "Fox on Demand" service, according to Broadcasting & Cable.
Anchorwoman averaged 2.72 million viewers and a 1.0/3 rating/share among the Adults 18-49 demographic during its 8-9PM ET/PT time period, according to Nielsen's preliminary fast national data for Wednesday, August 22.
Interestingly, Anchorwoman's premiere still delivered slightly better ratings than On The Lot, the heavily-hyped Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg reality series that Fox kept on the air all summer, had averaged during the last couple of months leading up to its Tuesday night finale. Apparently Anchorwoman's biggest sin was not having "Spielberg" in its credits.
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