The last time I checked, MRC was living in Fantasyland and fully expecting to come up with substitute shows to replace cancelled series Valentine and Easy Money on the Sunday nights that The CW stupidly allowed these network TV neophytes to program this fall. Well, the experiment has failed. Broadcasting & Cable is first with the news just now that The CW has pulled the plug on 4Real and In Harm’s Way as well. Now the network will air repeats of the cancelled CBS fan favorite Jericho at 7 p.m., followed by a movie from a package purchased from MGM. So much for financier and producer Media Rights Capital’s supposedly ongoing authority to program Sunday nights on The CW for the entire 2008-2009 season. The shake-up was outlined today in a letter to CW affiliates from network COO John Maatta, according to B&C: “As you know, to focus our efforts on the earlier part of the week, we entered into a time buy agreement with an outside supplier to program Sunday night,” he wrote. “While this move has clearly paid dividends for the overall schedule, the results on Sunday night have been below expectations. 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.” Along the way, MRC’s contract TV programmer Keith Samples was fired. Although there have been rumors for days that co-CEOs Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk were uber-ambitious and bit off more than they could chew and are getting out of TV to focus full-time on films, MRC still has series development commitments from other networks. Now it remains to been seen how the collapse of this MRC/CW pairing affects Tribune TV, which put the twosome together in a failed bid to help its tanking CW affiliates. And it undoubtedly puts more pressure not just on Dawn Ostroff but also on Les Moonves and Barry Meyer who created the weblet.
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