Late Friday news update

It’s unusual to have this much news break late on a Friday, so I’ve decided to summarize all the late breaking news into one post:

  • Update: ABC has now decided to yank low-rated and critically blasted game show Show Me the Money off the air immediately, meaning it’s gone for good. The program was to move to Tuesday nights beginning January 2, but now ABC will replace Money with Funniest Home Videos repeats.
  • ABC has also pulled the plug on Daybreak, after declining ratings, and the fact that the Taye Diggs drama posted its lowest ratings to date Wednesday. Those will be replaced comedy repeats, most likely the returning According to Jim and The George Lopez Show. No word where the remaining episodes of Daybreak will air, though dumping them on the web (a la Vanished and Kidnapped) is a likely option. (On a related note, ABC earlier this week also put Ted Danson sitcom Help Me Help You on hiatus.)
  • Both Broadcasting & Cable and TV Week are reporting that changes regarding MyNetworkTV may be in the works. The televonela format clearly isn’t working (Two new stripped shows debuted last week to even lower ratings than the ones that were replaced after their 65-episode cycle was completed), and Fox execs are mulling the possibility of scaling back the soap operas to two episodes a week, and adding game shows, reality programs, even a deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship organization. Changes may happen as soon as this summer, according to inside observers. Broadcasting & Cable also points out that production costs on the televonelas have now ballooned to $1 million a week for each series. In some local markets, MyNetworkTV was getting outrated by reruns of older off-network series such as Mama’s Family and Becker, by PBS programs, and far and away by programming on the new CW network, created by the folding of WB and UPN stations. Many MyNetworkTV affiliates are former UPN stations.