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CNBC unplugs Grodin yakker

'Hardball' hour will slide into 11 p.m. slot

NEW YORK — Charles Grodin has uttered his last deadpan diatribe on CNBC, which has canceled his talkshow.

One insider says the network finally got fed up with Grodin’s nightly denunciation of the capitalist system for grinding down, in Grodin’s words, “the homeless, the aged, the people unjustly confined in prison.”

Grodin’s 11 p.m. ratings weren’t keeping up with the dramatic audience growth in CNBC’s primetime lineup, which was up by 91% in the Nielsen ratings from in May 1997 to May of this year.

On Monday, CNBC will replace Grodin with the second run of the 8 p.m. “Hardball With Chris Matthews” hour. The Grodin show is in reruns this week, so he won’t preside over a final episode.

CNBC’s most popular talkshow is still the “Rivera Live” hour, hosted by Geraldo Rivera, which runs at 9 every weeknight, with a repeat at midnight.

In a statement, Grodin praised CNBC “for allowing an ordinary citizen to go on television every night and say whatever I wanted, without ever once in 624 shows censoring me or even offering critical comment. That has to be a first in television, and maybe a last.”

Grodin went on to say that he’s working on a special for PBS called “American Voices.”