Twentieth TV will yank “Studs” from syndication this fall, but the distributor reportedly is shopping the strip to young-skewing cable webs such as MTV and VH-1.
If one of the cablers opts to pick up the show, sources said “Studs” will likely continue in production.
Twentieth exex declined to comment on the matter Wednesday.
Although Twentieth parent Fox Inc. is launching a new basic cable service, which is expected to premiere on Tele-Communications Inc. and other systems early next year, “Studs” undoubtedly won’t find a home there.
In published interviews, Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch has expressed his dissatisfaction with the content of the program. Most think it would be highly unlikely that he would steer “Studs” to his own cable network.
Most stations won’t lament the loss of “Studs,” which has lost its ratings swagger over the past few sweeps periods. It sank 37% to a 1.9 Nielsen national syndication barter ranking during the first three weeks of May from a 3.0 during the same period a year ago.
Its plunge in the ratings can be attributed in part to late night downgrades on the Fox Television Stations, some of which aired the show in the more heavily viewed 5-8 p.m. early fringe/access time periods for several months last year.
Promotion appeared to wane along with the ratings for the Fox Television Stations-produced series, which at its peak proved to be a huge moneymaker because of its strong performance with the key 18-34 target audience.
Twentieth is said to be considering a replacement show for “Studs,” with comedian Howie Mandel reportedly under discussion for a late night syndicated series.