[10/08/04 - 12:00 AM]
Jay Mohr Confirms 'Last Comic Standing' Cancellation
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- Jay Mohr, the host of NBC's "Last Comic Standing," has confirmed the network has canceled the series.

In a statement posted on JayMohr.com, the comedian's web site, Mohr said, "Last Comic Standing is cancelled!!! This is shocking news to me too. I woke up on Wednesday morning and recieved the news. NBC was not happy with the rating of the show and decided to pull the plug. Keep in mind there is only one episode left and on that episode we were going to ANNOUNCE THE WINNER! Amazing. Why would a network cancel a show with only one episode left?"

The news comes on the heels of the Peacock's decision earlier this week to pre-empt the show's previously announced October 12 finale in favor of repeats of its struggling animated comedy "Father of the Pride" (read the story). The winner will instead be revealed sometime during the Tuesday, 8:00/7:00c hour with some industry insiders speculating the finale will air later this month on Comedy Central, which has a repurposing deal to air the series.

The third season of "Standing" has been far from a success for NBC with its most recent episode earning a 2.3 rating in adults 18-49 according to preliminary Nielsen data, ahead of only UPN's comedies in the 8:00/7:00c hour. Mohr insists however the show's troubles began well before the new season premiered: "There is some back history that makes this more ridiculous. As Last Comic Standing 2 was wrapping up this summer, the network told us that they wanted a "hybrid version" of Last Comic to put on the fall schedule. They said that they simply didn't have enough shows for the fall slate and needed a quick fix."

"My partner Peter Engel as well as other producers like Barry Katz, Cori Fry, K.P. Anderson and my self thought that this was a bad idea. We argued that having a seperate version of Last Comic so soon after season 2 concluded would burn the audience out and damage the franchise. Well the network insisted we move forward and we came up with "LCS Battle of thge Best". Season 1 versus season 2 for a prize of 250 thosand bucks. (It seems like Fox hands out a million dollar prizes on its reality shows like its lunch). Last Comic Standing The Battle Of The Best hit the airwaves in the fall and guess what? The ratings were down. The ratings stayed pretty consistent all season with around eight million viewers but that didn't stop NBC from hitting the panic button. The biggest question I have is why would you wait until the final episode to pull the plug. I feel terrible for the comics. We had a great final four with Alonzo Bodden, Rich Vos, Dave Mordal (my favorite) and John Heffron. These four comics are not involved with network bussines or standards and practices but it is they who will suffer the most from this terrible decision by The Nation Broadcasting Company. I have to stop typing now because I have to go TiVo Father Of The Pride."

NBC has yet to respond to any of its scheduling moves or Mohr's comments. Click here to read Mohr's complete statement.

  [october 2004]  


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