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The Ex List: CBS Pulls Romantic TV Show, Cancels Series

The Ex ListCBS has made its first big schedule change of the new season and it’s not a surprising one. The network has pulled its romantic drama, The Ex List, from the Friday night schedule effective immediately.

The Ex List tells the tale of an attractive single woman in search of a mate. Bella Bloom (Elizabeth Reaser) meets a psychic who tells her that she’s already dated her true love. If she doesn’t marry within a year, she’ll spend the rest of her life alone. The show also stars Rachel Boston, Adam Rothenberg, Alexandra Breckenridge and Amir Talai. Though the premise sounds interesting on paper, the show hasn’t found much love from TV viewers.

The show debuted on October 3rd and attracted 6.85 million viewers and a 2/6 rating/share of the 18-49 demographic. On first glance, the results appeared to be positive because Ex List won its time slot. However, on closer examination, you’ll find that 700,000 viewers changed the channel before the premiere was over and it ultimately lost 25% of the 9.3 million viewers who watched lead-in Ghost Whisperer. By contrast, Numb3rs built on its lead-in and attracted over 8.1 million at 10pm.

After its first outing, it was easy to see that Ex List was the weak link in CBS’ Friday night schedule. In comparison, Moonlight attracted 8.04 million and a 2.2/7 in the demo a year earlier.

For the following three episodes of Ex List, the news didn’t get any better. In week two, the numbers dropped to 5.71 million and a 1.9/6 rating/share. Week three bumped up to 6.35 million viewers but the numbers still reflected a nearly 30% loss from Ghost Whisperer. The most recent episode of Ex List dropped to a series low of 5.18 million viewers.

Should The Ex List be cancelled?

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The ratings haven’t been the only problem for the series. In mid-September, Ex List co-creator and executive producer Diane Ruggiero quit her job as the showrunner because she reportedly clashed with CBS over the direction of the series. Six episodes had been shot at the time that Ruggiero left and executive producer Rick Eid took over as showrunner to finish the 13 episode commitment.

We may never know if significant changes to the show were made after episode six or if they would have helped the ratings. The latter seems doubtful. CBS has now pulled the series from its schedule. Repeats of NCIS will fill the Friday night timeslot for the next two weeks, providing a more appropriate lead-in to crime drama Numb3rs. A repeat of Numb3rs will air in the timeslot on November 14th.

The news came as the Ex List cast and crew were in the midst of shooting episode 11. It’s unclear if the 13 episode order will ultimately be completed (and hopefully give the series a conclusion) or if the shelved episodes will ever be seen again. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

10/29 UPDATE: CBS has deleted The Ex List from the network website, an indication that the series will not return.

 

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Mari November 21, 2008 at 5:19 am

I really enjoyed this show and thought that the concept was right on target. Wished we could have known which guy she was going to choose in the end. I was so disappointed to see that it was canceled. Like the other fans on here, I hope they bring it back or at least let us see what the ending episode would have been like. I usually don’t like these kind of shows, but I loved this.

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Carolina November 20, 2008 at 5:17 am

Loved this show and OB! I hope that CBS at least allows the show to go to DVD so we can watch the other 7 shows. Just a thought….or even better, maybe a cable network could pick it up. It would be a great show after The Starter Wife on USA network. I am really gravitating towards cable since they give shows more time to grow their audience. I do not know how much CBS I will be watching now….I at least will not try any new shows next time one comes out.

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Trisha November 19, 2008 at 5:14 pm

BUMMER…. I would love to see who she ends up with! Can we just skip to the end!

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Jess November 18, 2008 at 6:07 am

I’m so sad! :(

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Donna November 17, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Guess CBS should’ve stuck with Moonlight, which was actually a GOOD show!!!

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Diana November 17, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I need closure!!!! I hate it when they start a show and do not finish it. I loved this show the concept was a good one. Not all shows are a hit in the first couple episodes. Now what so those of us do that enjoyed the light hearted comedy on Friday night. Thanks alot CBS!!!

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Mendy November 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm

The Ex List was a great show. I think it was a bad idea to shut it down. My god, just give it a chance. Everything can’t be a hit right away. Put it back on the air. Hopefully another station will pick it up and give the show a chance. CBS Sucks for doing that!!!

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Olive November 14, 2008 at 7:49 pm

BOO!! Cancelling this show was a bad idea. I had the same sad feeling when ABC cancelled Men in Trees, only CBS didn’t even give us a chance to get to know Bella like we did Marin. Sometimes, girls just need a sappy, cheesy “chick-flick” type of series. C’mon now people!

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Anonymous November 12, 2008 at 6:02 pm

I am upset! I really liked that show!! It was such a cute storyline! I really hope it comes back on. Way to leave me hanging! I want to know if she gets back with the guy she shares the dog with?

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Anonymous November 12, 2008 at 2:43 am

Wow. I am so bummed!!! I usually work late on fridays so I wasn’t able to watch it then but come saturday… I have been looking for it online and then this, so lame!!! I think it definitely would have picked up more viewers had it been given more time… I hope they at least have the consideration to view the rest of the season instead of just leaving us hanging. Anyhow I wish Bella (or rather the actress who plays her) luck I loved her on Gray’s to as Ava. Here’s hoping the honchos read message boards like these and bring The Ex List back.

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Kris November 10, 2008 at 6:01 pm

I loved the ex list too. I didn’t think the show was on at a great time as I know I (and many people that I know) are busy on Fridays. I searched to find the shows online so I could catch up and then saw this. Sad. I would love to know what happens to Bella.

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alana November 10, 2008 at 5:23 pm

I officially hate cbs. I loved the Ex list.

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Jessica November 10, 2008 at 7:51 am

i am really upset that they cancelled the ex list… i had been looking forward to watching it since i saw the previews.. and when i finally watched it i was hooked after the first episode… i had to dvr them because i was working.. but i still watched them.. and the past 2 weeks.. i have come home to watch them.. and well it wasnt recorded.. and i thought that my DVR was just acting up.. and then i just read on here it was cancelled.. i thought it was a good show.. and they could have at least let it run its first season so we could see what happens you know.. instead of leaving us all hanging after just 4 episodes.. thats BULL… they always cancel the good shows… and well.. its not fair..

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Lexie November 9, 2008 at 6:44 pm

I cannot believe that CBS has cancelled this fantastic show! It is the only new series this season that immediately captivated me. The concept was great, and I thought the characters were interesting and the plot lines were attention grabbing. It’s a shame that when a really good show comes out, it gets axed if the viewership is not tremendous from the get-go. Please reconsider the decision to cancel the Ex-List. I’m sure I’m not alone in my request.

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BellaBloomfan November 8, 2008 at 4:04 pm

It’s the only NEW show this year I actually watched each week. I had to TIVO it usually, but I did watch it.

BRING IT BACK. It didn’t even have time to develop a following.. That takes time and word of mouth from fans like us.

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