Sony cancels “The Nate Berkus Show”

Sony Pictures Television and Harpo Studios announced on Friday it was not going forward with a third season of The Nate Berkus Show. The series will finish out the current season and produce all episodes it was contracted for.

The cancellation was first reported on Broadcasting & Cable’s website early Friday evening.

Nate Berkus rose to fame as Oprah Winfrey’s interior decorator, leading to appearances on her show and eventually his own daytime talk show strip produced by Harpo Productions, Ms. Winfrey’s production company.

Berkus’ show was cleared on NBC-owned stations (including WMAQ-TV in Chicago) in a three-year deal. But weak ratings throughout its run hurt the series, and its fate was sealed when NBC elected to replace Berkus with new talk shows from Jeff Probst and Steve Harvey (distributed by NBC Universal) next fall. Look for Steve Harvey’s show to air at 2 p.m. on WMAQ next September, the slot Berkus holds now.

So far this season, Berkus only averaged 1.4 million viewers and was tied for eleventh place with The Wendy Williams Show among all syndicated talk show strips.

Nate Berkus’ show is one of only two strips perceived to be on the bubble – the other is CBS Television Distribution’s dating show Excused, whose ultra-low ratings (and a recent downgrade by WCIU from 11 p.m. to midnight) suggests this series also might not make it to September 2012 (obviously to the delight of writer Ken Levine. Is the T Dog Media TV Hall Of Shame calling? Plenty room for more…)

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