'Celebrity Cooking' Put in Deep Freeze
NBC puts final two episodes of low-rated show onlineLOS ANGELES --
After drawing woeful ratings the past two nights, the week-long stunt has been yanked from the NBC airwaves. The network will instead show the last two episodes -- Thursday's pre-taped kitchen battle between finalists Chelsea Cooley, Ashley Parker Angel and Cindy Margolis, and Friday's live results -- on its web site.
UPDATE: NBC has now scheduled the final two episodes to air back-to-back Saturday, starting at 8 p.m. ET. The episodes don't appear to be on NBC.com anymore.
In place of the specials, NBC will revert to its normal schedule at 8 p.m. ET Thursday ("Will & Grace" and "My Name Is Earl") and Friday ("Deal or No Deal").
The booting of "Celebrity Cooking Showdown" marks one of the rare times a network has pulled an unscripted show from the air before it reached its conclusion. NBC is at least giving viewers an alternative outlet to watch the last episodes, which is more than fans of FOX's "Forever Eden" or CBS' "The Will" can say.
Aided by a "Deal or No Deal" lead-in, the premiere of "Celebrity Cooking Showdown" didn't do all that badly on Monday night. It drew 8.7 million viewers and a 2.9 rating in NBC's target demographic of adults 18-49 -- hardly stellar but, had those numbers held up, nothing that would have caused its premature cancellation.
Ah, but there's the (spice) rub. On Tuesday the show absolutely got drilled airing opposite "American Idol" and "NCIS" -- only about 3.4 million people watched, and both its total audience and adults 18-49 rating (a paltry 1.1) were fifth for the hour, beating only UPN (and not by a whole lot).
The show improved slightly Wednesday but still couldn't break the 5 million-viewer mark.