In announcing its Summer, Fall, and Winter programming schedules to advertisers at this week's "upfront" presentation, FOX Entertainment President Gail Berman announced that despite the network's previous announcements, neither reality series will be returning to the FOX airwaves this summer.
"Forever Eden, we don't anticipate returning to the schedule, nor do we anticipate bringing back Playing It Straight," Berman told the assembled crowd of ad buyers and entertainment reporters.
Perhaps recognizing that both programs' ratings difficulties were at least partially a result of the network's own ridiculous scheduling decisions (Playing It Straight aired in the Fridays 8PM ET/PT time period where FOX hasn't had anything close to hit since The X-Files moved to Sundays in 1996, while the network sent Eden on a dizzying scheduling death march that ended with the program having aired only seven episodes on four different weeknight evenings), Berman also took the unusual step of promising that the network would share the details of the programs' endings with fans of the shows.
"We will certainly provide any viewer that needs the information with the information of the conclusion," she told Zap2It.com. Exactly how the "information" will be "provided" remains unclear.
On the other hand, difficult as it may seem to believe, Berman seems to be entertaining the idea of bringing this winter's pitiful The Littlest Groom reality miniseries back for another edition. "Maybe we'll do that one again; that was kind of fun," she told the audience, when asked about the show.
However Eden fans don't have to give up all hope of ever seeing the remainder of the series air at some point. As a result of an unusually large initial twenty-five episode commitment to Forever Eden, FOX is still sitting on eighteen unaired Eden episodes -- so in a world of 200 digital cable channels, it wouldn't be too surprising to see some network pick up the remaining episodes for broadcast. On the other hand, diehard viewers of the enjoyable six-episode Playing It Straight might not be so lucky (although, in a fair world, things would probably be the other way around... but if there's anything veteran television viewers know, it's that no one would ever accuse the television industry of being fair -- and if you have any doubts, see both these programs' initial scheduling slots for exhibits A and B.)