It’s official. Exactly two months after Tyra Banks announced her departure from “FABLife,” the daytime talk show has been cancelled after just one season. The news was announced by Disney/ABC late Tuesday evening.
While the syndicated show will not return for second season, original episodes will continue to be produced and air for the remainder of the current season. Meanwhile, the 10 ABC-owned stations that had carried “FABLife” have picked up the viral video clip series “Right This Minute” staring in the fall, while Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution has taken over distribution of “Right This Minute” from MGM Television.
“We’re extremely proud of everyone involved with (‘FABLife’) and would like to thank them for all of their contributions and tireless efforts,” said Janice Marinelli, president of Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution. “We are especially appreciative of our talented and dynamic co-hosts Chrissy Teigen, Joe Zee, Leah Ashley and Lauren Makk, and we would also like to extend a huge thanks to our station partners for all of their support.”
The cancellation does not came as a shock, as the show experienced a major shake-up when Banks announced she’d be leaving the show at the end of 2015. No replacement for Banks was set either, indicating a lacking effort to boost the show. Paired with struggling ratings and mixed reviews from critics, insiders tell Variety “FABLife” was all-but-canceled at the time of Banks’ exit. The show ranked as the lowest-rated of the 15 daytime syndicated talk shows this past fall, averaging just 934,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.
Meanwhile, “Right This Minute” continues to be the rare little-show-that-could success story in first-run syndication. The show began six years ago as a local venture produced by a consortium of station groups: Cox Media, Raycom Media and E.W. Scripps Co. It was picked up by MGM Television for national syndication in 2013. The show had grown to 87% national clearance rate during the past four seasons. For the 2016-17 season, “Right This Minute” is renewed in at least 60% of the country, through the combination of the ABC O&O clearances and those of it partner station groups.
The ABC O&O clearances will be a huge boost to “Right This Minute,” which at present does not air in such major markets as New York and Chicago. In some of the ABC O&O markets, “Right This Minute” will move in the fall from incumbent stations including Fox’s KCOP-TV Los Angeles and indie WFMZ-TV Philadelphia. The series is produced by Phoenix-based MagicDust Television.
On “FABLife,” Banks’ departure, announced in late November, just two months into the series’ run was a surprise. Banks, who also served as an exec producer on the talker, stated that she decided to exit the show to focus on her cosmetics line, TYRA Beauty, which she did not realize would occupy so much of her time. Sources say other reasons came into play, namely the show’s weak ratings and clashing personalities on set.
In addition to Banks, the lifestyle show showcased a panel of “lifestylists” including resident foodie Chrissy Teigen, fashionista Joe Zee, interior designer Lauren Makk and DIY YouTube star Leah Ashley.
Shortly after Banks scaled back on “FABLife,” she spoke to Variety, saying, “One thing that I cannot do is run a business and be a talk show host. A talk show is so encompassing.” She added, “I thought that by having a team of people so that I wasn’t the only one hosting it would allow me to have more time, and it gave me some time, but it did not give me the time that I thought it would. So in the end, I realized that I have to put the oxygen mask on my company because it just wasn’t making sense.”
Asked if she would ever return to daytime television, Banks declared, “I doubt it.”
Banks’ long-running reality modeling competition “America’s Next Top Model” also recently wrapped up, after 22 cycles. However, Banks is still in ties with the Disney/ABC family, as she’s set to reprise her role as Eve in Disney Channel’s sequel to the fan-favorite TV movie “Life-Size,” which is currently in development.
As for Teigen, her hit show “Lip Sync Battle,” on which she serves as the commentator, was just renewed for Season 3 on Spike.
Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.