The Simple Life 5’s ratings are down 20 percent

A press release sent by E! confirmed the report that The Simple Life has been cancelled.

Sunday’s episode will be the “series finale,” E! said, and the network promises more fake drama, as “Paris and Nicole write their own play in tribute to their decades long friendship, enlisting the help of celebrity counselor Sally Kirkland to lead the production.”

While a show source said yesterday that Paris and Nicole’s off-camera drama “overshadowed” the show’s fake drama, The Hollywood Reporter identifies a more likely reason: Viewership for the fifth season “is down 20% from the previous season, averaging 843,000 total viewers through eight episodes this year, compared with 1.1 million for Season 4’s 10 episodes.”

In a separate statement to The Hollywood Reporter, E! said that the show “has been a wonderful addition to the E! schedule for two years, and we will always be grateful to Paris and Nicole for their hard work and graciousness.”

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