Don’t pass GO: “Monopoly” canceled


Also: CBS cancels Angel In Hell

As first reported by Broadcasting & Cable, Scientific Games announced Tuesday it is ceasing production of Monopoly Millionaires Club.

The syndicated game show, hosted by Mike & Molly’s Billy Gardell and shown locally on WGN-TV, was cut from an hour in its abbreviated first season to a half-hour this season.

According to the article, the multi-state lottery, where players had to buy a lottery ticket for the possibility on just getting on the show, couldn’t compete with other, more popular lottery games such as Mega Millions and Powerball, which recently offered a $1.6 billion prize – the largest in North American history.

Due to several bureaucratic tie-ups, the Monopoly lottery game was never offered in Illinois, hurting viewership of the show locally. However, the game was offered by the Hoosier Lottery across the state line in Northwest Indiana.

Millionaires’ Club was seen at 6 p.m. Sundays on WGN, but was often pre-empted by local sporting events, forcing it to relocate to a late-night Saturday slot. When it did air on Sunday, Millionaires’ Club had to compete with NFL overruns on other channels. Millionaires’ Club obviously fell victim to a weekend landscape that has changed dramatically over the last decade as viewers are opting for binge-watching programs on DVDs, DVRs, and streaming services instead of watching live TV (with the exception of football, of course) – making it harder to launch a first-run show as major syndicators have all but abandoned the daypart.

First-run programming- scripted and unscripted – was a staple of local stations’ weekend lineups in the 1980’s and 1990’s and for much of the 2000s.

Millionaires’ Club ends the weekend of April 30/ May 1. It is not known it the series continues in reruns afterward until September, or if it’ll be shelved immediately (Editor’s Note: was confirmed “Monopoly” will exit the airwaves altogether at the end of April.) This is the second time a Monopoly TV game show was unsuccessful; In 1990, ABC canceled Monopoly after thirteen weeks.

In other cancellation news, CBS has pulled the plug on Angel In Hell after five episodes. The series, starring Dolton native Jane Lynch as an Angel from down below, had it November premiere delayed until January, where it never resonated in the ratings. CBS is pulling the show immediately; no word on when the eight remaining episodes would air, although burning them off in a Saturday time slot this summer is a good bet.