On the Lot: Will the FOX Reality Series Be Cancelled?

On the LotFOX was hoping for the next big reality show hit to take over for its wildly-popular American Idol. They put a lot of faith promotion time into the Mark Burnett/Steven Spielberg series On the Lot. Unfortunately, it looks like the series has emerged as the TV equivalent of a movie bomb.

On the Lot was conceived as a filmmaking contest in which young directors would compete for a million dollar development deal with film studio DreamWorks. Over 12,000 submissions were reportedly received and from that, 50 semi-finalists were chosen. Like Idol, the competition series was planned to air twice a week.

The premiere on May 22nd followed Idol but failed to hold onto much its huge audience. Idol attracted 24.5 million and less than 9 million stuck around for On the Lot. The second episode on May 24th dropped to 5.2 million and the third sank to 2.86 million on May 28th. With a lead-in from House, the ratings rose a bit to 4 million on May 29th but FOX had seen the writing on the wall.

Beginning with the June 5th episode, the competition and results shows were condensed into single one-hour weekly episodes. In place of the Monday episodes, FOX replaced On the Lot with reruns of House, Hell’s Kitchen, and various sitcoms.

Backstage, the series has gone through some changes as well. Original host Chelsea Handler left the show to host her own E! comedy show Chelsea Lately. Handler was replaced by Adrianna Costa who hasn’t gathered much praise for her efforts. On top of that, six contestants were dropped off-screen after the May 28th episode. The network called it simply a “creative decision.”

Unfortunately, the schedule and backstage changes haven’t helped the ratings. In fact, they’ve only gotten worse. The seventh episode attracted only 2.4 million.

The finale is scheduled to air on Tuesday, August 14th. If the ratings keep falling, will the series be allowed to finish its run? Would many notice if it didn’t? One thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t expect On the Lot to return for a second year. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

Canceled and renewed TV show

4 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. says


    Just wanted to say I LOVE this show! Wish I was a part of it as a Director in the competition! What an awesome opportunity! I actually just started watching the show (down to 5 finalist) and noticed there were no female Directors in the finals, where are they?

    Maybe I missed that…

    Anyways, been hearing this rumor that you’re thinking of cancelling the show?

    Don’t do it!! I vote No.

    Just wanted to share my input!

    Aloha from Kauai!

  2. Simon says

    WHAT THE F**KIN F**K???
    This is EASILY the best reality show ever. It’s about f**kin movies. How can it get any better than that??? And now it gets cancelled… Hurraaaaayyy.. How stupid are the people (ok, rethorical question).

  3. WolvenSpectre says

    2.4 million viewers may not be a large percentage of the viewership audience in the timeslot. but that is still allot of people.

    I think the problem is they had a good format to start with and just needed to develop a little word of mouth.

    When they changed format, they turned the show into just another reality show, only with talented filmmakers.
    Unfortunately they let the filmmakers make whatever they wanted. This meant that they kept making the same kinds of short films every episode. The contestants weren’t forced to stretch themselves in new ways (unlike overdoing it in the first two episodes).

    The biggest mistake though was what they forgot about making good reality TV/unscripted dramas… drama! Excluding the short interviews, the only ‘drama’ was the criticism by the judges.

    Still, I ENJOY THIS SHOW! It should be allowed to be finished and even taken back to the drawing board and given a second chance.

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