ABC’s new game show, Show Me the Money, seemed like a sure thing. It featured the irrepressible William Shatner, an amazing set, lots of cash, crazy contestants, simple trivia questions, beautiful dancing girls — how could it lose? It was touted as the next big sensation and the network announced it was ordering six additional episodes. Now, its been yanked from the schedule. What happened?
Show Me the Money debuted on Tuesday, November 14th with a special preview edition taking the place of Boston Legal and following the incredibly popular Dancing with the Stars. It was hosted by venerable TV star William Shatner who audiences know from Star Trek as the heroic Captain Kirk and Boston Legal as the unpredictable Denny Crane. This special 90-minute debut episode of Show Me attracted an average of a 8.1 rating (almost nine million households) for the night — very respectable numbers. Game shows typically cost far less to produce than regular dramas or sitcoms so it looked like ABC had a cheap hit!
On December 8th, ABC announced it was ordering six additional episodes of the game show, bringing the first season’s total to 13 episodes. The network also said that it would move the show to Tuesday nights at 8pm beginning in January. It looked like “the Shat” and the dancing girls were going to be around for awhile.
Or, maybe not. The ratings for Show Me the Money have continued to fall since its debut and last week, it seems they dipped just a bit too low. On December 13th, Show Me attracted less than five million viewers — dropping 16% in the all-important 18-49 demographic from its previous airing.
Apparently this dip in viewers has made ABC execs rethink their strategy. They’ve not only cancelled the additional episode order but they’ve also pulled the game show from the schedule effective immediately. Repeats of sitcoms George Lopez and According to Jim will fill the Wednesday timeslot until the end of the year. Repeats of America’s Funniest Home Videos will take the place of Show Me on Tuesday nights at 8pm in the new year. Videos and Show Me are both produced by Endemol USA.
There are two unaired episodes of Show Me the Money left on the shelf. It’s been reported that ABC is planning to air them sometime in January. But, considering that the show has been pulled from the ABC website, I wouldn’t bet on it. Stay tuned!