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Fox cuts 'On the Lot' to one episode a week due to poor ratings


By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 06/01/2007 

If On the Lot was a movie and not a reality television show, it probably would have been pulled from theaters after its opening weekend.

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However instead of outright canceling its much-hyped but yet horrifically-mishandled Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg-created American Idol-like movie-making reality competition series, Fox has announced that it will drop On the Lot's Monday episodes.

Rather than continuing with its original plans to air one-hour "Film Premiere" episodes -- the show's version of Idol's weekly performance shows -- on Monday nights, followed by half-hour "Box Office" results shows on Tuesday nights, Fox has now announced that it will air just one hour-long weekly episode of On the Lot on Tuesdays at 8PM ET/PT beginning June 5. 

However it's still unclear how the "Film Premiere" and "Box Office" aspects of On the Lot's format will be combined into one night of programming.  On the Lot's Fox publicist did not immediately respond to calls from Reality TV World for clarification.

On the Lot premiered following American Idol's sixth-season final performance episode on Tuesday, May 22 at 9PM ET/PT and averaged 7.6 million total viewers as well as a 3.6/9 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic.  The first episode began with 50 semifinalists and ended with 14 semifinalists eliminated and the remaining 36 contestants working in self-formed teams of three on 12 short films. 

On the Lot's second episode then aired two nights later in a strange 9:25-10PM ET/PT time period that folllowed So You Think You Can Dance's third-season premiere on Thursday, May 24.  The second episode -- which steamrolled through the production of the 12 films, the judges' screening on the films, the cut of 12 more semifinalists, and ended with the 24 remaining semifinalists beginning individual directing assignments that were to determine the show's 18 finalists -- averaged 5.2 million total viewers and a 2.1/6 rating/share among Adults 18-49.

From there, things got even worse this week.  Rather than pick up where the previous episode had left off, On The Lot's special two-hour 8-10PM ET/PT broadcast on Monday, May 28 inexplicably began with Adrianna Costa -- the show's equally unexplained new host -- introducing the competition's suddenly-revealed 18 finalists and featured a "Film Premiere" screening of each finalist's first individual comedy-themed short film.  Although television viewing on the Memorial Day holiday was light overall, On The Lot's broadcast averaged less than three million viewers and finished fifth (behind ABC, CBS, NBC, and even Univision) in its time period.  The next night, On The Lot's Tuesday 8-9PM broadcast of its first "Box Office" results show fared better but still only averaged about four million viewers.

On the Lot will be replaced by an encore of House's season finale on Monday, June 4 and an encore of Hell's Kitchen third-season premiere on Monday June, 11.  Then on the following three Mondays -- June 18 and 25, as well as July 2 -- Fox will replace On the Lot with a mix of repeats of The Simpsons, Family Guy and American DadOn the Lot will air on Monday, July 9, however it's only due to the fact that Fox is broadcasting the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday, July, 10, when there will be no episode of On the Lot

Then it's back to another week of Fox cartoon repeats until On the Lot airs the first part of its two-night season final on Monday, August 13 at 8PM ET.  The second half of the finale will air the following night Tuesday, August 14 at 8PM ET.

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