“Celebrity Name Game” canceled

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Series lasted three seasons in syndication

Although the major broadcast networks had been slow in cancelling shows, one show outright got the ax in syndication.

Debmar-Mercury and Fremantle North America announced Friday it was ending Celebrity Name Game after three seasons. Premiering in 2014, the game show was hosted by Craig Ferguson and was created and executive produced by former married couple Courtney Cox and David Arquette, along with Ferguson.

Debmar and Fremantle’s Family Feud, is continuing. The game show is among syndication’s top rated programs.

Ferguson was best known as host of The Late Late Show, a position he relinquished in December 2014 with David Letterman retiring. The show is now hosted by James Corden.

Celebrity Name Game was cleared on Tribune stations in the nation’s largest markets including WGN-TV Chicago, where the program was double-run weekdays at 10 a.m. and at midnight. The program also had a cable run on Pop!, airing at 5 p.m.weekdays. (Central Time.)

“We’re incredibly proud of “Celebrity Name Game” and grateful to the terrific fan base that has supported the show for three seasons,” said Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, co-presidents of Debmar-Mercury in a press release. “We thank everyone who has contributed to its run, including Craig Ferguson, the show’s extraordinary host who received two Daytime Emmy Awards in recognition of his talent, our amazing partners at FremantleMedia North America, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, their creative collaborators and the outstanding production team.”

Celebrity Name Game is syndication’s first cancellation of the season. It comes as another high-profile series, freshman talk show Harry, shifted to earlier time slots in top markets this week, including Chicago. With no new series officially in the first-run pipeline for next fall so far, it could be difficult to fill potential open time periods.

The pink slip does come as a bit of a surprise. According to Nielsen, Celebrity Name Game had been averaging around a 1.3 household rating this season, with the latest report showing the program earning a 1.4 rating. While those numbers would make Name Game eligible for renewal, the program’s production costs may have made another season prohibitive.

Back in April, weekly game show Monopoly Millionaires Club vanished from the airwaves after a year on the air after seeing its format cut from an hour to an half-hour midway through its run.

Despite the cancellation of Name Game and Monopoly, the game show genre is still healthy, as future projects are moving forward with the premiere of NBC’s The Wall on January 3 and the return of ABC’s Match Game the following night. Also, Sony’s $100,000 Pyramid is slated to return to ABC next summer.

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