Sony: No second season for “Mel Robbins”

Cancellation comes as a bit of a surprise as self-help guru could not catch up to Clarkson, Hall in freshman talk show race

In a surprise move, it’s over and out for The Mel Robbins Show after Sony Pictures Television announced it isn’t bringing back the series for a second season.

This comes as Sony – who was considering renewing the show as late as two weeks ago –  received a key upgrade in Los Angeles, moving into an afternoon slot from overnights. The series plans to stay in production until May, with the last episode airing September 11.

As first reported by Broadcasting & Cable, the syndicator pulled the plug on the freshman daytime talker, hosted by the actress-turned- author and self-help motivator as the series’ season-to-average ratings were far behind two other syndicated talk shows that debuted this season: NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson (averaging 1.7 million viewers per day) and Disney/ABC’s Tamron Hall (with 1.2 million viewers) as Robbins was a distant third, averaging 466,000 viewers per day.  Robbins debuted a week later (September 16) than the other two.

In Chicago, the program aired weekdays at 1 p.m. over Nexstar-owned WGN-TV, but was stomped in the ratings by WLS-TV’s Windy City Live, who also topped Clarkson and Hall and is the city’s most-watched talk show. Robbins also failed to draw more viewers than the programming it replaced – in this case, NBCUniversal’s long-running Maury, who slid to 2 p.m.

“Mel has had a positive impact on millions of daytime viewers and we still strongly believe in her message and the work she is doing,” Sony said in a statement. “We are proud of the show and the talented team and thank our partners and launch group at Nexstar, and our advertisers and sponsors, for their exceptional support.”

Robbins‘ original launch group was Tribune Media, as it was the last deal made by the company before Nexstar closed on its purchase of the Chicago-based station group. Indeed, Robbins non-confrontational style didn’t exactly gel in a lineup with conflict talkers Maury and Steve Wilkos, and on CW affiliates reruns of Jerry Springer.

Robbins’ early cancellation is a bit jarring given in recent years, syndicators have given freshman shows time to find their footing, even getting pick ups for second seasons despite low ratings. The last time a freshman talk show suffered an early demise was Disney/ABC’s troubled FABLife from four seasons ago, canceled four months into its run and saw co-host, creator, and executive producer Tyra Banks exit after just two months.

With Robbins gone, the news may be a blessing for a new talk show Sony is planning with Daphne Oz called The Good Dish. The proposed cooking/talk hybrid could stand to benefit if Sony can swing a deal with stations currently airing Robbins, but so far no deals had been announced. Also vying for spots are CBS’ Drew Barrymore (who received a firm production commitment) and Debmar-Mercury’s Nick Cannon.

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