The end may be imminent for ‘Ananda’

Apr 15, 2002  •  Post A Comment

As stations finalize schedules for the fall season, one series fighting cancellation has received a potential death blow. Los Angeles, Chicago and likely New York have opted not to renew King World Productions strip “The Ananda Lewis Show” for a second year, according to sources close to the situation.
The news is potentially lethal for the series, which has been averaging a 1.1 Nielsen Media Research household rating for the season and failed to capitalize through February sweeps on a ratings spike from late December and early January, when the series reached a season-high 1.5 rating.
In the demos, “Ananda” performs best among women 18 to 34, averaging a 0.8 rating.
The Tribune station group already has upcoming talk show “Beyond With James Van Praagh” set for its daytime schedule and is rumored to be in negotiations with Warner Bros. Domestic Television to pick up long-running talk show “Jenny Jones” for the fall season.
Insiders at “Ananda” say the show’s long-term chances were hurt by the Sept. 11 attacks, format changes and clearances on a station group that runs an afternoon kids’ animation block.
King World representatives would not comment on the fate of the show, although one distribution executive said a month ago that the company was hoping for a reprieve and hoped the strip would be able to earn another year on the television schedule.
Next move
Should “Ananda” indeed get the ax, it would join several talk shows that received cancellation notices this season, including Tribune’s “Talk or Walk,” “Buena Vista Television’s rookie “Iyanla” and Studios USA’s long-running daytime staple “Sally Jessy Raphael.”
Even without a corpse to examine, tongues are already wagging about Ms. Lewis’ next project. Although she continues to serve as a pillar of MTV’s programming as a veejay, some speculate that she could end up taking a spot at “Entertainment Tonight” or even a role on “The Early Show.”