ABC is pulling the midseason comedy “Arsenio” starring Arsenio Hall from its schedule earlier than expected, although talks are under way between the network and producers DreamWorks Television to retool the show for next season.
An announcement on related schedule changes could come today. The show, which made its debut last month, was set to run in its Wednesday 9:30 p.m. slot either through April 16 or 23. Now, it will finish its run on April 9.
The Alphabet web is expected to double run “The Drew Carey Show” in the 9-10 p.m. slot on Wednesday, April 16. How the 9:30 p.m. slot will be filled for April 23 is undecided. “Ellen” will return to Wednesday night on April 30 with the anticipated hourlong coming-out episode.
“Arsenio” experienced production difficulties from the first. The show’s first executive producer David Rosenthal exited early on and was replaced by Tim O’Donnell. In February, former ABC Entertainment chairman Ted Harbert inked a production deal with DreamWorks in which he became an executive producer on the show.
DreamWorks and ABC are looking to reach an agreement on reworking the show, including shooting a new pilot to give it a second chance next season.
ABC had high hopes for “Arsenio,” evidenced by the $900,000-per-episode license fee. It received lukewarm reviews, with many liking Hall but not the show.
Through last week, “Arsenio” has averaged a 9.0 rating and 15 share, according to Nielsen. It has not been as successful as ABC would have liked in holding the 18-49 lead-in audience from the hit “Drew Carey Show.”
ABC had ordered 13 episodes of “Arsenio,” six of which will have aired through April 9.
Separately, to make room for the hourlong “Ellen” on the April 30 schedule, ABC is expected to schedule “Drew Carey” in the 8 p.m. slot, followed by “Coach” at 8:30.