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HOME > Playing It Straight

FOX pulls its 'Playing It Straight' gaydar reality series from the air

By Reality TV World staff, 03/30/2004 

Three episodes into its originally scheduled six-episode run, FOX announced yesterday evening that it is pulling its Playing It Straight series from the network's broadcast schedule.

Citing the poor ratings that the program has drawn in its Fridays at 8PM ET/PT timeslot, FOX announced that the program will be pulled immediately but will return to the airwaves sometime this summer so that its viewers can learn how the program ends. Starting this Friday, the program's timeslot will be filled by episodes of Totally Outrageous Behavior and World's Craziest Videos.

Playing It Straight's Friday evening struggles should come as no surprise to observant viewers. Straight's Friday evening scheduling, on a night where the network hasn't had a hit series since The X-Files moved to Sundays in 1996, was an incredibly poor placement given the young demographic that the program was chasing (a demographic that is largely not home watching television on Friday evenings) -- a fact that we openly questioned after the program's disappointing premiere ratings but something that was apparently beyond the anticipation of the network's highly paid programmers.

With the move, Playing It Straight becomes the second straight reality series to premiere in the Friday 8 PM time period only to get pulled from the airwaves after only three episodes, following 2001's The Mole II: The Next Betrayal on ABC. As FOX plans with Straight, ABC pulled Mole II after three poor Friday evening broadcasts only to bring it back the following summer, where the much-longer thirteen episode series was rebroadcast from the beginning and performed so well that ABC went on to broadcast two additional celebrity editions of the program before recently declining an option for additional installments of the series and opting to let the producers shop the show to other networks.

Perhaps we'll find out this summer if Playing It Straight has a Mole-like resurrection capability, or if it will suffer a fate similar to UPN's Under One Roof 2002 series... which premiered in January, was pulled from the airwaves by February and returned to the airwaves in July... only to once again become cancelled within weeks of its return.

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