‘Vibe’ won’t be returning

Col TriStar nixes plans for second season

“Vibe” is about to go vamoose.

Columbia TriStar TV Distribution confirmed Monday that it has nixed plans for a second year of the Sinbad-hosted syndie latenight strip created by Quincy Jones and David Salzman. Talk-variety hour has struggled with low ratings since its debut, barely averaging a 1.5 national Nielsen household rating in recent weeks.

“Vibe” will carry on with a mix of originals and reruns through Sept. 11, although it has already been exiled to post-midnight timeslots in a number of key markets. Col TriStar may try to field a replacement show to “Vibe” affils over the next few weeks, but no formal deals have yet been inked.

Word of “Vibe’s” demise comes on the very day another syndie contender entered the syndie latenight ring, Twentieth TV’s “The Magic Hour,” hosted by NBA great Earvin (Magic) Johnson. “Vibe” host Sinbad is expected to profit handsomely from a multiyear deal he signed with Col TriStar earlier this year, which is said to have guaranteed him a hefty salary regardless of whether the show went forward for year two.

Last August, “Vibe” and rival syndie upstart “The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show” blew into latenight with a mandate to take on NBC’s Jay Leno and CBS’ David Letterman by attracting a younger, largely urban audience. “Wayans,” from Disney’s Buena Vista TV, was yanked in February, also a victim of low ratings.

“We have always been very proud of ‘Vibe,’ we always liked what we were seeing on the air,” said CTTD prexy Barry Thurston. “Our feedback from advertisers and our core viewers was terrific. But in this very complex and very competitive marketplace, ‘Vibe’ needed more viewers to sustain itself for any long period of time.”

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