Sinclair stations drop show making cancellation inevitable

NEW YORK — Twentieth TV has cancelled the low-rated “On-Air With Ryan Seacrest” after less than eight months in firstrun syndication.

Cancellation became inevitable when word got out that a block of Sinclair Broadcasting stations were preparing to drop the five-a-week show.

Production will stop immediately, although Twentieth said the series would continue with a mix of some previously taped original content, but mostly reruns, through Sept. 17. A spokeswoman for the Fox TV Station Group, which carried the Seacrest hour in all of its markets, mostly in daytime and early fringe, said the group has not yet chosen the programming with which to replace it.

A Twentieth spokesman said no executive would comment on the cancellation. Instead, the distributor released a three-paragraph statement acknowledging that “the marketplace’s response was not as strong as we had hoped.” The show averaged only a 1.0 rating season to date, with a 0.8 rating among women 18-34 and a 0.7 in women 18-49, the two major demographic targets of the program.

In the statement Twentieth said Seacrest is “gearing up” for his fourth season as host of the Fox network’s “American Idol” and will continue to host his morning radio show on KIIS AM Los Angeles and his syndicated radio show “American Top 40.”

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