In Depth

NBC Station Group Cancels 'In the Loop'

“In the Loop With iVillage” will leave the weekday lineup of NBC owned-and-operated stations at the end of March.

The staff of the Chicago-based daytime show was told Friday, on the eve of the long Presidents Day holiday weekend, that “In the Loop” will continue in production through March 28.

Staffers, who are expecting to be laid off, had been told the cancellation is a cost-saving move by the stations group, recently renamed the NBC Local Media Division, but another source said it was low ratings that did in the show.

The show originated from Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., when it debuted as “iVillage Live” in December 2006 as an attempt to bundle live TV, studio and Internet experiences.

In addition to featuring NBC Universal-owned iVillage, the Web site focused on women, the show also frequently featured products of advertisers including Kraft, Philly, Overstock.com, Pop Sugar, Dr. Foster & Smith, Ace Hardware Store and Crate & Barrel.

In an attempt to boost the show’s anemic ratings, NBC News’ in-house production arm, Peacock Productions, took over the hour. Peacock moved the show to Chicago in search of more celebrity guests; hired executive producer Marlaine Selip (“Donahue”); and recast it with three co-hosts: “The Apprentice” alumni Bill Rancic and Ereka Vetrini and actress-comedian Kim Coles.

It originated from NBC-owned WMAQ-TV.

An NBC representative confirmed to TelevisionWeek that the show will remain in production until the end of March.

There was word on the various program substitutions the NBC stations might make after “In the Loop” leaves the air, but station group executives are said to continue to believe in the concept behind the show, which launched after NBC Universal bought the iVillage Web site for $600 million in 2006.

The cancellation of the show followed close on the heels of the layoffs of about 13 iVillage employees, including editor-in-chief Jennie Baird.