20th / Fox pulls the plug on Ricki's talk show, following last week's announcement of Kris Jenner's new talk show.
Twentieth Television pulls the plug on the syndicated talker, which launched in September.
As previously reported last week, 20th / Fox are planning a daytime talk show "Kris" for Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner. The one-hour show will be televised this summer by another unit of News Corporation, the Fox-owned television stations in cities like New York and Los Angeles.
Lake, who made her return to talk television after a nine-year absence, was never able to attract enough of the adult female audience she was targeted to serve. When Twentieth Television first announced plans for the show it described Lake as “America’s girlfriend.”
Season to date, Ricki had a 0.7 household rating and a 0.5 rating in the key demographic group of women 25- 54. In metered markets she was averaging a 2 percent share of the viewing audience.
Compared to what was in the same time periods one year ago, her numbers were down 30 percent. Over the past two weeks, Ricki was also down an average of 42 percent compared to her lead-in show.
“Ricki is not an expert,” said the launch announcement last summer. “She’s not a doctor, therapist or a super homemaker – she’s a working mom trying to figure life out, and inviting her audience along for the ride.”
Lake, whose first show had run from 1993 until 1994, had pegged her promotion around social media, and started months before the premiere by recruiting “Friends of Ricki” online and for meetings in various cities. The approach, while it seemed promising, never produced the intended support.
In her first go around, Lake had aimed at a younger female audience and later turned toward more conflict talk. For the new show, she sought topics that appealed to her core audience and hopefully inspired them.
Lake’s program was one of five talk shows that premiered last September. Out of that group Katie, starring Katie Couric, and Steve Harvey have done best; both are renewed for at least one more year. Tricia is also likely to stick around while the Jeff Probst Show, despite being contracted for another season, remains a question mark because it too has suffered low ratings.
CBS Television Distribution, which produces and distribute Probst, has not commented on rumors it may be pulled, except to say they will fulfill their commitment to produce another full season of the show.
Playing mostly in the afternoon, Lake’s show was anchored on the Tribune TV stations in major markets including New York, Dallas, Denver and Cleveland.
Her show was on Fox stations in Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston. It was also on stations owned by Sinclair, Post Newsweek, Granite, Citadel and Sun Broadcasting.
In a statement announcing the cancellation, Stephen Brown, executive vp of programming & development, Twentieth Television stated: “We would like to thank Ricki Lake as well as executive producer Gail Steinberg and the entire staff for their work this season. While we are proud of the topics the program tackled including childhood obesity, life-after the military, divorce, and addiction we were simply not able to breakthrough the crowded talk show marketplace.”
Ricki Lake said in her statement: "I am so proud of the shows we completed this season, sparking important conversations about everything from raising children to mental illness to suicide prevention to coming out. I will continue to be an active and passionate voice for subjects that are close to my heart through a variety of platforms -- and a return to my documentary filmmaking work with Abby Epstein. I am excited to create meaningful and provocative films similar to our 2007 project, The Business of Being Born."
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