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New Pitchmen episodes pulled from Discovery Channel amid low ratings



sully.jpgAfter two weeks of ratings that averaged about half last year's totals, Discovery Channel has pulled original episodes of Pitchmen, the unscripted series featuring Tampa infomercial king Anthony "Sully" Sullivan.

Both Discovery and Sullivan said the channel is trying to find a new timeslot for the show, which averaged about 797,000 viewers over its two original episodes aired Aug. 19 and Aug. 26, according to The Nielsen Company. Those episodes were the first in the show's second season, filmed after the death of star and infomercial icon Billy Mays; last year, the show averaged 1.4-million viewers in 13 episodes featuring Mays and Sullivan as occasionally squabbling partners, according to Nielsen.

"I think they made the right call," said Sullivan, taking heart in the fact that Discovery didn't cancel the series outright. "You lose your star, you're lucky anyone tunes in. In my conversations with Discovery, they've behind the show and just want to find a good home for it."

Sullivan spent eight months assembling the new version of the show, which focused on his search for inventors and products to pull into the world of direct marketing. From the start, one of the biggest questions involved how the show might be received without Mays, who died in his sleep in his Tampa home last June.

Last Thursday, Discovery aired a rebroadcast of County Jail: Miami, with additional specials scheduled there for future weeks. Sullivan noted last year's episode got a boost airing at 10 p.m. Wednesdays behind popular series Mythbusters.

[Last modified: Friday, September 10, 2010 10:33am]


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