‘A Current Affair’ Canceled

Sep 21, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Twentieth Television’s “A Current Affair” is over six months after it was resurrected. It will be replaced in November on Fox-owned stations that carried it by a live, newsy half-hour strip starring Fox News Channel’s Geraldo Rivera originating from New York and distributed by Twentieth.

Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in the announcement of “Geraldo at Large” that “Strong news reporting and the delivery of comprehensive information to the viewer are key ingredients to success and ones we are going to incorporate into our program strategy. News is a key driver for the Fox owned-and-operated stations and ‘Geraldo at Large’ will serve as a strong complement to our local stations’ newscasts.”

Twentieth Television President and CEO Bob Cook reportedly delivered the news of the “Affair” cancellation, which will take effect at the end of October, to “Affair” staffers late Wednesday afternoon.

The cancellation will not come as a surprise to the syndication community, which that had watched the show languish in the ratings. It features former football player-lawyer-novelist Tim Green in the role that made Maury Povich a national star in its first incarnation.

The program changed the tenor of syndication and TV journalism when it debuted in 1986 and introduced America to a crew of brash British and Australian journalists who were not afraid to wrestle with preppy murders or Long Island Lolitas.

Since its debut in March, “Affair” has dug into the case of Natalee Holloway, the young American who went missing in Aruba. It made headlines with the case of a bridegroom who vanished mysteriously on his honeymoon cruise. And it committed significant resources to Hurricane Katrina after it hit New Orleans, hometown of “Affair” contributor Arthel Neville.

But in the first three weeks of this syndication season, according to data from Nielsen Media Research, “Affair” averaged a 1.9 household rating and a 5 share, down a share point from its lead-in and down 10 percent from the time slot year to year.

“Affair” remains in production and will offer original episodes until it leaves the air, a Twentieth spokesman said.