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Easy Money and Valentine: MRC Cancels CW TV Shows

Easy MoneyWhen Media Rights Capital (MRC) shut down production of Valentine and Easy Money a couple weeks ago, the company said that it would resume in a few weeks and that they were committed to finishing the series’ 13 episode runs. It seems they’ve changed their minds and the shows have now been cancelled.

Valentine is a quirky drama that follows a group of mythological gods whose existence depends on their helping mortals to find true love. It stars Christine Lakin, Autumn Reeser, Robert Baker, Kristoffer Polaha, Greg Ellis, Jaime Murray, and Patrick Fabian. Easy Money tells the tale of the dysfunctional Buffkin family that runs a small loan shark business in the Southwestern desert. Money features the talents of actors like 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. Both shows are produced by MRC who, earlier this year, made a deal with the CW to rent the network’s Sunday night airtime for the 2008-09 season.

Both Valentine and Easy Money debuted on the CW on October 5th. Though several critics praised Easy Money, most in the industry expected viewership to be quite low. In the past, the CW hadn’t had much luck attracting viewers to watch on Sunday nights, either by programming encores of their more popular shows or by airing new series. It seemed highly unlikely that this trend was going to change simply because another company was filling the timeslots.

For its premiere, Valentine attracted just 1.1 million viewers and a 0.3/1 rating/share among adults 18-49. A year earlier, CW’s now-cancelled Life is Wild drew 50% more viewers. Easy Money brought in 1.08 million people and a 0.4/1 rating/share. The year before, a repeat of America’s Next Top Model attracted 20% more people.

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But, as bad as the MRC shows’ premieres were, the news for subsequent weeks was worse. With only four airings, the numbers have dropped to incredibly low levels. On October 20th, Valentine hit a series low of 718,000 viewers and this past Sunday, Easy Money fell to just 667,000 watchers.

In mid-October, MRC shut down the production on both shows. The reason given was that the writers needed time to catch up on scripts. Based on the series’ terrible ratings, coupled with and MRC’s much-publicized financial and management issues, it’s likely execs were trying to figure out if it made any sense to resume production.

Word is that they’ve now made a decision. Valentine and Easy Money have been cancelled, won’t return to production, and won’t complete the 13 episode orders. Eight episodes of each show have reportedly been completed and the fifth episodes will air this Sunday night. The company is supposedly still committed to filling the CW timeslots so execs are likely searching for replacements. Will those perform any better? Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page


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