April 11, 2008 / 2:42 AM / 10 years ago

CBS cancels "Secret Talents of the Stars"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It looks like country music star Clint Black has told his last joke on prime-time television.

The CBS network on Thursday canceled its new celebrity-based reality show, “The Secret Talents of the Stars,” after just one dismally rated episode.

The program, hosted by “Seinfeld” veteran John O‘Hurley, who himself competed on ABC’s first season of “Dancing with the Stars,” featured a line-up of celebrities competing to determine who has the best unknown talent.

Black tried his hand as a stand-up comic, Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen performed as a contortionist and actor George Takei, a.k.a. Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek,” crooned some country tunes.

Veteran entertainer Debbie Reynolds, Grammy-nominated R&B singer Brian McKnight and TV producer Gavin Polone made up the panel of judges.

But the debut episode on Tuesday drew an anemic audience of just 4.6 million viewers, finishing a distant third in its hour among the three major broadcast networks, according to Nielsen Media Research.

CBS said it would replace “Secret Talents” for the next two weeks with “48 Hours Mysteries,” then swap in new episodes of the returning legal drama “Shark” for the remainder of the season.

Network patience with building audiences for new shows has grown shorter in recent years, but it is still rare for a program to be axed after just a single episode.

“Quarterlife,” the first Web-based drama to air on network television, was canceled after its NBC debut in February fizzled in the ratings, but it was moved sister cable channel Bravo.

Earlier this season, CBS dumped its ambitious new musical drama “Viva Laughlin” after just two little-watched airings.

Editing by Dean Goodman

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