CNBC Yanks Reality Series 'Crowd Rules'
After the first two episodes brought fewer than 50,000 viewers, the cable news network's latest unscripted effort is taken off the schedule.
CNBC is rethinking Crowd Rules.
The reality competition, hosted by jewelry designer Kendra Scott and NY1 anchor Pat Kiernan, has been pulled from the primetime schedule after just two episodes.
It's not much of a surprise considering the ratings. Crowd Rules opened to a sobering 47,000 total viewers and just 12,000 in the adults 25-54 demographic on May 14. In its second outing, it retained its demo numbers but fell to 42,000 total viewers. The business-centric cable news network's typical ratings are hardly robust, but a rep went so far as to call Crowd Rules' returns "laughable" in the New York Post.
And while a CNBC rep confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that Crowd Rules is off of primetime, it has not been canceled.
Part of an ambitious slate of alternative programming debuting on the network this year, Crowd Rules follows something of a Shark Tank formula. Three small businesses compete in front of an audience of 100 during each episode, and based on their pitches, the crowd votes on who wins the $50,000 prize.
"This is a giant commitment,” Jim Ackerman, CNBC senior vp primetime alternative programming, recently said of the reality push. “We understand how difficult it is to build hit shows. But you just need one, and it really can sort of change the profile of a channel.”