Skein failed to hold auds from 'Brothers' miniseries

NEW YORK — HBO has cancelled “The Mind of the Married Man” after 20 episodes over two seasons.

Unlike such highly praised skeins as “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City,” “Mind” received mixed reviews from critics. And it never broke through to big audiences despite an expensive promotional campaign by the cabler.

” ‘Mind’ turned out to be a divisive show within households,” said Carolyn Strauss, exec VP of program development for HBO. “Women wouldn’t watch it, so husbands didn’t watch it with their wives, and boyfriends didn’t with their girlfriends.”

What finally did the show in was its failure at 10 p.m. to hold the lead-in audience from HBO’s high-powered “Band of Brothers” miniseries on Sunday nights last summer. That failure forced the network to banish “Mind” to 10:30, flip-flopping it with Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Originally, HBO scheduled “Mind” as the lead-in to the offbeat “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” When the far less expensive “Curb” eclipsed it in the ratings, the fate of “Married Man” was sealed.

But Strauss said HBO is bursting at the seams with other original series, not only “Sopranos” and “Sex & the City,” both of which are in their last year of production, but “Enthusiasm,” “Six Feet Under,” “The Wire” and three forthcoming rookies: “Deadwood,” “Carnivale” and an intimate Steven Bochco-produced series about marriage.

Mike Binder, Michael Rotenberg and Stu Smiley were executive producers of “Married Man,” along with Gregg Fienberg, RitchShynder and Bruce Kirschbaum. Binder was also the star and occasional director.

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