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Caroline Rhea Show Wraps A Week Early

April 26, 2003
Fox News

Fox News Reports:

I don't get how this works: Maury Povich, Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones and Ricki Lake each put on some of the most embarrassing, low-class television shows known to man, and they get renewed every year.

But Caroline Rhea's show which is classy, funny, interesting and witty is facing imminent cancellation.

That's the buzz around town since the chat show was told to wrap its first season a week early. This is a dire warning, at least to the staff and those who've been there before.

Warner Telepictures produces The Caroline Rhea Show, and they came into it trying to maintain the success of Rosie O'Donnell's show, which Caroline took over last fall.

At first Caroline was hesitant on the air. She looked a little scared, and we were nervous for her.

Caroline's personality is quite different than Rosie's, no matter how you slice it. It wasn't clear if Caroline could marshal the same audience.

The truth is that Caroline's show has improved dramatically since the beginning of this year. The whole thing has clicked.

Caroline has calmed down. Her interviews have become funny and chatty. She seems more herself, and more at home on the set. The addition of a bandleader/foil also helps. If it hadn't been for outside circumstances, Caroline would be on her way to a sizeable hit.

But she's been hindered from the start by terrible time slots. ABC, which owns The Wayne Brady Show, gave that program preference over The Caroline Rhea Show. This meant a 12:30 a.m. start in the New York market, which is a death slot.

Ironically, Caroline's ratings have often been better than some daytime shows. But ABC never moved her, and the late-night spot has become a permanent handicap.

So why doesn't Warner Telepictures do the smart thing here? Get the show off ABC in markets where it can only air at night. Move it into real syndication, where Caroline's intelligent humor can knock off Maury Povich's embarrassing displays of condescension. (No more DNA tests for pregnant teens, please!)

One season is not enough. Let The Caroline Rhea Show live another season and find its foothold. It's the only decent thing to do.