Benefactor run cut; producer says three episodes will be compressed into one.
After being pre-empted Monday by a special Christopher Reeve edition of 20/20, The Benefactor is now facing an early end. ABC is cutting two broadcast days from the eight-episode run, concluding the series on Monday, Oct. 25. In an e.mail message to the Dallas Morning News, Mark Cuban says, “I have nothing but great things to say about ABC. I still love the show and the way it turned out.” While the paper says that this news “almost assuredly [kills] any possibilities of a sequel to the Dallas-based reality series,” Cuban writes, “There is always a chance of a sequel.” The show airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET, but has aired after Monday Night Football on the west coast. Cuban said, “I think we would have done better in a time slot that had us playing [at the same time] in every major market … but we knew the challenge going in.” In a letter to cast members obtained by reality blurred, executive producer Clay Newbill writes,
I hope this finds you well and that you are enjoying the show.
I have some bad news for you…ABC has asked us to finish the series in 6 episodes rather than the planned eight. They feel that the ratings just haven’t been what they had hoped.
Episode 5 will air next week as it was originally shot and edited. The following episodes, 6-7-8 will be condensed into a single finale episode. My apologies if anyone’s moment on TV now no longer happens…it is unfortunately the only way we can honor their request.
Due to this news we will also not be having the reunion that I know you were all looking forward to. In two weeks after the Finale airs I will be back in touch with more information.
Thank you all again for being a part of the show. You were ALL fantastic, and don’t let this news discourage your experience. It is a terrific show and I hope you all enjoyed it. Sometimes their are factors which have nothing to do with the show itself that effect its success. Such as a timeslot:)
Take care and I’ll be back in touch,