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FOX pulls 'Forever Eden' from its broadcast schedule


By Reality TV World staff, 04/14/2004 

The death march has finally ended for FOX's Forever Eden. At least for now. FOX has announced that effective immediately, the struggling "never-ending" reality soap opera has been pulled from the network's broadcast schedule.

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Announced with much fanfare and an unusually large twenty-five episode commitment in January, Forever Eden leaves the airwaves with eighteen unbroadcast episodes remaining and having broadcast its seven aired episodes on four different weeknight evenings. Given the extremely large number of remaining unaired episodes, its all but guaranteed that the network will attempt to relaunch the series after next month's May sweeps ratings period concludes.

Eden's sudden cancellation and removal from a FOX schedule that already had it scheduled to be preempted twice in the next three weeks simply marks the latest chapter in a dizzying array of scheduling moves for what's turned out to be a disastrous $20 million reality programming experiment.

Originally scheduled to premiere on Monday, March 1 and Tuesday, March 2 at 9PM ET/PT and air again on Monday, March 8 before moving to its regular Thursday at 9 PM ET/PT time period on March 18, Eden premiered poorly despite the benefit of an American Idol lead-in, and lost even more viewers when its third episode aired on Monday, March 8.

Hoping to give the program a bit longer to capture the audience of My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, the network's then just-concluded hit series that had aired in the same time period, FOX originally opted to delay the program's departure to the scheduling Death Valley known as Thursdays at 9 PM ET/PT for another two weeks (and in the process, delayed the originally scheduled Monday, March 29 at 9PM ET/PT premiere of new time period occupant The Swan for a couple of weeks). However once the program's fourth episode ratings continued to show a hemorrhaging of viewers, FOX changed plans and immediately moved the show to the Thursday timeslot.

After airing its fifth episode in the Thursday 9PM time period versus mega-hits CSI and The Apprentice on March 25 to predictably even worse ratings, the network immediately opted to shunt the show off to Friday evenings, where the network's new highly-promoted "New FOX Friday" lineup of Playing It Straight and Wonderfalls was being torn apart after three weeks of similarly disappointing ratings.

Stuck in its new Friday 9PM time period, Eden predictably failed to produce any ratings improvement, with last week's most recent seventh Eden episode delivering the network's season-worst performance in the time period.

FOX will fill the Friday evening time period with theatrical movies for the May sweeps period.

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