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CW Pulls MRC TV Shows: No More Valentine, Easy Money or In Harm’s Way… and Jericho Returns?

ValentineLittle about the CW’s Sunday night arrangement with Media Rights Capital (MRC) has been typical. That trend has continued right to the very end as the CW is booting In Harm’s Way, Valentine, and Easy Money right off their schedule. And, in a strange twist, CBS’ cancelled Jericho is returning to primetime.

For those who haven’t watched the MRC shows (and few people have), here’s a brief description: In Harm’s Way is a reality show that spotlights people who have particularly dangerous occupations. It’s hosted by former Navy officer Hunter Ellis.

Valentine follows a group of Greek gods who try to help modern-day mortals find true love. It stars Christine Lakin, Autumn Reeser, Robert Baker, Kristoffer Polaha, Greg Ellis, Jaime Murray, and Patrick Fabian.

Easy Money, the best reviewed of the three, tells the tale of a family of loan sharks. That one features the talents of Laurie Metcalf, Jeff Hephner, Jay R. Ferguson, Joe Peracchio, Katie Lowes, Nick Searcy, Kimberly Estrada, Marsha Thomason, Ravi Patel, Chris Browning, Jesus Mayorga, Gary Farmer, and Judge Reinhold.

Last May, it was announced that MRC was going to rent CW’s three hours of Sunday night airtime to run their own programming. Rather than pick up established programming (Moonlight was briefly considered), MRC chose to fill the timeslots with three original shows, In Harm’s Way, Valentine, and Easy Money. The CW has historically had difficulty attracting viewers to its Sunday night schedule so few had faith that MRC would have better luck with three shows that had less promotion and exposure.

Which of the three MRC shows was better?

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As expected, all three shows debuted on October 5th to dismal ratings. As bad as they were, the numbers got worse as the weeks progressed. By mid-October, MRC had shut down production on Valentime and Easy Money for a “planned hiatus.” A few weeks later, we learned that both shows had been cancelled and that the cast and crew would not be returning to their jobs. No mention was made of In Harm’s Way. It’s assumed that the reality show was either on a different production schedule or had perhaps already wrapped on its initial episode order.

MRC was reportedly still obligated to fill the three hour timeslot for the rest of the season. The company was reportedly readying other shows for early 2009 debuts. It was suspected that In Harm’s Way, Valentine, and Easy Money would continue to air at least until the new year. That’s no longer the case.

It’s been reported that MRC has been having financial and leadership issues and its rumored that the company has fallen behind in its payments to the CW. Coupled with the night’s poor ratings, the CW network has taken back the Sunday night timeslots.

The CW’s COO, John D. Maatta, told affiliates in a letter that, “The MRC shows are simply not working. To that end, we have made a business and programming decision to protect our network and your local interests on Sunday for the remainder of the season.”

Maatta says that the MRC block will air this Sunday but that CW programming will take over after that. For the immediate future, CBS’ cancelled drama Jericho will air at 7pm. (Strangely enough, CBS took down their still-active Jericho forums just yesterday. Were they concerned that another revival campaign might be started?) As-yet-unannounced movies will be shown from 8pm to 10pm.

Understandably, the CW exec didn’t mention the fate of any unaired episodes of In Harm’s Way, Valentine, and Easy Money or, of the MRC programming that would take their place. MRC may try to find another outlet for the shows, release them on DVD, sell them to TV stations overseas, or just let them collect dust on the shelf. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

UPDATE: The LA Times reports that an MRC spokeswoman says “The CW and MRC are continuing to negotiate the Sunday night deal. And all parts of the deal — programming, timing, everything.” She also disputed that MRC had not made timely payments to the network. A CW spokesman declined to comment on MRC’s contentions.

 

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

cryonix October 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm

This is in response to Jackie Donaldson, just because you don’t believe in something or you read a book that says it’s wrong, does not mean you remove that item, you take a step back and think to yourself, how is this truly effecting me. Further as yourself, when you look at your significant other again, what makes you love him? now could you love someone else of the opposite gender just because someone told you that is what you should do or what makes them more comfortable? That is what it feels like for a gay or lesbia n person. Our heart loves just like yours, only it is to someone of the same sex.

And one last thing, have you personally met the writers of the bible? I have to wonder were they held by gun to writing what they supposedly foreseen or did they put their own personal opinion into the words. The bible is the world greatest marketing tool ever made by man. Follow it’s laws and pay 10%, trillions of dollars have been made from this marketing tool and more will be made, so ask yourself, how valid or correct are the words? And when you meet our maker are you ok with, I didn’t like them so I wanted them gone. I really hope not, because I know in my Gay heart, God loves all of us equally.

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Jackie Donaldson October 21, 2009 at 8:24 am

I don’t understand why you take off decent family shows. We watched Eli Stone every week. It was a good clean and moral show. I used to like Brothers and Sisters and Grey’s Anatomy until you made them so sleazy. It seems that about every show that you have that I used to like that you are promoting gays and lesbians. I know that this exist in our world, but it does not have to be exploited in t.v. shows. I am disappointed that there are not shows that have Christian Values that cannot be watched by families.

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gabs August 29, 2009 at 8:31 am

I’ve watched a few episodes and I loved it ! I just can’t understand why they always stop such a good serials like Valentine and Veronica Mars!! I can’t even find from where to watch the whole season of Valentine!!! Could sombody help me please!! I can’t find it anywhere!

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band geek July 7, 2009 at 7:35 pm

im usually home alone sunday night and i just got to watch valentine this weekend. I was finally gonna have something to do sunday night. I loved it and watched all the other episodes online! boo to the cw for not running it any more. i loved the romance in it. I hope they will do something so its not just left hanging like that. Something like bringing out the first season on a diff channel or something

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Tahoerunner November 30, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Sunday night finally gave me something to look forward to in the form of VALENTINE. I know it’s hard to believe someone enjoys romance, but the remaining shows could have been completed. Wonder if another company will pick up where the unstable MRC left off.

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