Fox pulls 'Truth' from fall schedule, new 'Hole in the Wall' to air instead
By Steve Rogers and Christopher Rocchio, 08/07/2008
After seeing The Moment of Truth's ratings continue to swoon when it returned with new episodes this summer, Fox has apparently decided the show isn't ready for its own moment-of-truth fall showdown with Survivor after all.
Fox has announced Hole in the Wall, a new game show that will see contestants contorting their bodies in an attempt to fit through a massive moving wall, will premiere Thursday, September 11 at 8PM ET/PT and replace The Moment of Truth on the network's Fall 2008 schedule.
The Moment of Truth's second season -- which Fox had previously planned on airing in the Thursdays at 8PM ET/PT time period beginning September 4 -- will now air as midseason programming and premiere later in the 2008-2009 season.
Hosted by actress Brooke Burns and TV personality Mark Thompson, each Hole in the Wall episode will follow two teams competing against each other for several rounds, in which they'll be up against various walls speeding towards them.
Their only means of getting through will be different-sized shapes, which will force the contestants to contort their bodies in unison as they either squeeze through or get knocked into a pool below.
As the rounds progress, the walls will come at the contestants more quickly and the shapes will become more difficult to fit through. The team with the most points at the end of each episode will win $25,000 and have the chance to face the "Blind Wall" for the opportunity to win an additional $100,000.
Fox had ordered 13 one-hour episodes of the Japanese import from American Idol's FremantleMedia North America production company back in May. FremantleMedia currently produces versions of the show in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Sweden and the U.K..
When the network first announced its 2008-2009 schedule back in May, Fox had made little secret of the fact that it was hoping that The Moment of Truth -- which had premiered to over 23 million viewers back in January -- would be the show that would finally manage to end Survivor's seven-year reign as the Thursday 8PM timeslot's top program.
"Look, it's eroding," Fox Entertainment chairman Peter Liguori told The Hollywood Reporter about the network's decision to schedule The Moment of Truth against Survivor. "It's an older show. It's eventually going to give up and we're trying to accelerate that."
However Liguori apparently failed to notice The Moment of Truth's own ratings erosion. After drawing huge numbers for its post-American Idol premiere, the show's ratings quickly began tailing off, and only 10.16 million viewers watched the April 2 broadcast of the final episode of the show's initial 9-episode run.
From there, The Moment of Truth's ratings only got worse when the show returned to the air with six new episodes beginning Tuesday, May 27.
Despite winning its time period in the Adults 18-49 demographic, The Moment of Truth's May 27 broadcast averaged only 7.4 million total viewers and finished 18th in the week's viewership rankings. The show's ratings continued to erode throughout its brief summer run, and its final July 1 broadcast averaged only 4.61 million total viewers, which ranked 48th in the week's viewership rankings.
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Overall, The Moment of Truth averaged only 6.26 million viewers during the six-episode run.