“Queen Latifah” canceled





At least Jimmy DeCastro didn’t screw this up.

But it wouldn’t have mattered: Sony Pictures Television has canceled The Queen Latifah Show after two seasons, marking the second time she struck with with a daytime talker (the last time was in 2001, when Warner Bros. dropped her similarly-titled show after two seasons.) The program will continue in production until the end of the calendar year, with originals running until the end of March. Then reruns (and likely time period downgrades) take over until September, when it goes off the air for good.

The series was produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s production company (Overbrook Entertainment) in association with Sony.

Latifah aired locally over CBS-owned WBBM-TV at 2 p.m. weekdays, in addition to other CBS-owned stations. When Latifah premiered in September 2013, it launched on two stations locally: WBBM and independent WCIU-TV, which cleared the talk show in a 7 p.m. primetime slot, unusual for a daytime show.

WCIU dropped Latifah after only one season due to disappointing ratings, leaving WBBM as the exclusive Chicago home for her show this season.

So far this season, Latifah is averaging a 1.0 household rating, down considerably from its freshman season average of 1.7. In the key 25-54 female demo, Latifah earned only a 0.6, down 29 percent from last year.

It is not immediately known what would replace Latifah on the CBS-owned stations. Recently, CBS Television Distribution pulled the plug (for now) on a Jerry O’Connell talk show project, which would have debuted next fall. If no replacement is announced before NATPE, CBS stations would likely replace the show with various shows from other syndicators.

In Chicago, it is a possibility reruns of Judge Judy may resurface at 2 p.m., the slot where it ran before Latifah premiered and drew decent ratings. Judy reruns replaced the ill-fated Jeff Probst Show in December 2012, after just sixteen weeks. Prior to Probst, Judy reruns occupied the 2 p.m. slot for three years.

Queen Latifah is the first syndication casualty of the 2014-15 season.