EXCLUSIVE: Layoffs are always tough, especially when they come just before the holidays. That is what’s happening on struggling freshman syndicated talk show Jeff Probst where several staffers, including producers received pink slips today. I hear some or all of the layoffs came with a week notice, with Dec. 21 as the last day of work. “As with most new shows, we had beefed up our production team for launch, and are now settling into a more appropriate staffing level for a daily talk show,” a spokesperson for the show said.

CBS TV Distribution’s Jeff Probst got to a slow start, averaging a 0.8 household rating during premiere week. It never gained momentum, finishing the recent November sweep tied with Ricki Lake as the lowest rated freshman talk shows with a 0.7 HH rating.