''All-American Muslim'' TV show ends as viewership slumps

Wed Mar 7, 2012 7:15pm EST
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "All-American Muslim," a TV reality show celebrated by some and criticized by others for its view of everyday life in an Islamic community, was canceled by its network on Wednesday after one season of slumping viewership.

"We decided not to renew it for a second season," said Laurie Goldberg, a spokeswoman for the TLC network that aired the program.

"All-American Muslim" made headlines shortly after its debut in November last year when home improvement retailer Lowe's dropped its sponsorship following complaints by a Florida-based conservative group that accused the show of glossing over Islamic extremism.

The company's decision was criticized by some groups, and celebrities and politicians rallied behind TLC and the show.

But "All-American Muslim" struggled to find an audience. It lost over half its viewers between its debut in November, when over 1.7 million people tuned in, and its eighth and final episode in January that drew an audience of 729,000.

A source familiar with the matter said the network's decision was strictly related to the declining ratings.

The program profiling five Muslim-American families in Dearborn, Michigan, was seen as groundbreaking for giving the reality show treatment to people of Arab descent. But its focus on everyday issues also drew criticism.

A group called the Florida Family Association campaigned against the show, approaching sponsors and urging them to drop their support. The group claimed the show was biased because it did not deal with topics such as Americans' concerns about Muslim Sharia law.   Continued...