“There’s been an outpouring of support,” Ferriter says. “We started getting calls over the weekend.”
CBS Television Distribution announced it was pulling the plug on “The Arsenio Hall Show” Friday. Ferriter said other outlets didn’t waste any time reaching out and Hall’s camp is already in “early talks” to reboot the series.
Unfortunately, TheWrap couldn’t find anyone willing to cop to those early talks.
An individual close to the production told TheWrap that E!, OWN and BET were among the media companies courting Hall. But when contacted by TheWrap, two outlets denied that they’ve reached out to the comedian and his reps.
An E! representative told TheWrap “no,” when asked if the network was interested in working with the comedian. Another individual inside the company said bluntly that Hall is “too old” for E!’s demographic.
A representative for OWN also insisted that the network hadn’t reached out to Hall’s representatives and OWN has no plans to bring him to their channel.
BET representatives didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Additionally, individuals at CTD close to the production insist that the company hasn’t received any interest from other companies to continue “The Arsenio Hall Show” or to buy the rights to the format.
CTD produced “The Arsenio Hall Show” with Tribune Broadcasting and Octagon Entertainment, in which Ferriter is a managing director.
CBS originally renewed the syndicated series for a second season in February with a flashy announcement on the show made by special guest Jay Leno. But following the renewal, the series was downgraded to different timeslots in some markets with more to follow. In New York City, for example, WPIX moved the talk show back a half hour to 11:30 p.m., pushing it for an episode of “Seinfeld.”
CBS said in a statement that the show, which premiered in September, failed to take off.
The show actually premiered with some promise earning a 1.9 in households and 1.0 in the advertiser-coveted Adults 18-49 demographic. But, it couldn’t hold on to that audience and over the season it whittled down to a 0.7 rating in households and a 0.3 in the 18-49 demo.
“Unfortunately, ‘The Arsenio Hall Show’ will not return for a second season; while there are many loyal fans of the show, the series did not grow its audience enough to continue,” the spokesperson said. “Arsenio is a tremendous talent and we’d like to thank him for all the hard work and energy he put into the show. We’d also like to thank Tribune and all our station group partners for their support of the show.”
The syndicated show aired on Tribune’s local television stations, including KTLA in Los Angeles. Ferriter insisted CTD and Tribune were great partners.
“I totally understand the decision that was made, but one of the station groups had concerns,” he said.
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A CTD insider told TheWrap that when it renewed “Arsenio Hall” for a second season, it was already low-rated. So when the threats started coming in from different stations to move the show to a later timeslot where there would be less viewers, CTD realized that it wouldn’t be able to reach the viewership it needed to continue producing the show.
The insider said CBS has no interest in continuing with “The Arsenio Hall Show” at this point.
The show was on hiatus last week when CBS decided it wouldn’t be coming back. Ferriter said his main concern was to let the staff know that their run was over.
Hall was naturally disappointed with the cancellation and referred to the timing on Twitter, saying it was an “emotional day” at his office.