January 13, 2012 10:47pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
ABC Pulls 'Work It' From Schedule
ABC's Work It experiment has come to a quick conclusion.
The network has pulled the critically panned cross-dressing comedy -- a project only ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee seemed to love -- after two episodes. Repeats of Tim Allen's freshman comedy Last Man Standing will air in its place beginning Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.
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Cougar Town -- which was left off the network's midseason schedule -- remains unscheduled. Lee told critics this week at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour that the Courteney Cox comedy would likely return in March, with the network giving it a "really good launch pad."
Work It premiered lower than its canceled predecessor, Man Up, on Jan 3, drawing a 2.0 in the key adults 18-49 demographic and luring 6.1 million viewers. Its second airing tumbled 20 percent, dropping to a 1.6 in the demo and 5.1 million viewers.
Before its premiere, Work It drew the ire of both Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign, which claimed the series reinforced "false and damaging stereotypes about transgender people" and urged ABC not to air it.
Work It starred Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco as unemployed men who dressed as women in order to land jobs as salesmen at a pharmaceutical company looking to hire female sales reps.
Lee has been an advocate for the show from the start, telling reporters last summer at TCA that, “I’m a Brit, I have to do a cross-dressing show every year. I grew up with Monty Python. What can I do?”