Indie 12 Yard Productions has seen its first US commission, business reality show The Benefactor, cut short by the ABC network, writes Michael Rosser.
The series, ABC's antidote to NBC reality hit The Apprentice, should have ended its eight-episode run on 1 November. But mixed reviews and low ratings led ABC to demand that the last two episodes be combined into one finale, on Monday (25 October).Since its September start, the show has averaged 4.7 million viewers while NBC's The Apprentice 2, with Donald Trump, has averaged 15.5 million.The Benefactor featured billionaire Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, putting a group of people through a series of tasks with the goal of winning $1m.Mike Beale, head of international at 12 Yard, said different time slots for the east and west coasts also caused problems. "We never got a true sense of how it was doing," he said.