TLC dumps Miss America franchise

Network aired pageant for three years

Miss America is single again.

TLC is jettisoning the 89-year-old franchise after three years despite strong ratings, which means the beauty pageant again will have to hustle to find a network.

"We are happy that TLC was part of the modernization and revitalization of the Miss America pageant," TLC said. "This year, we delivered record ratings, besting any of its prior performances on cable. However, our three-year deal has concluded, and we have chosen not to renew. We wish the Miss America Organization well."

TLC picked up the Miss America pageant under the network's previous executive administration under president and GM Angela Shapiro-Mathes. Although ratings were strong, given the price of the franchise and the amount of ads sold, sources said Miss America wasn't pulling big enough numbers where it mattered. Plus, the event isn't hugely on brand for TLC.

Miss America aired on NBC from 1966-96, then switched to ABC. When ABC declined to renew the veteran pageant in 2006, organizers shopped the show to cable networks. CMT picked it up for two years, then dropped it. TLC signed a three-year agreement with pageant organizers in 2008. The most recent airing was its highest-rated yet on cable, drawing 4.5 million viewers.

Along the way, organizers have entertained all sorts of network requests to try to modernize the show, including adding behind-the-scenes reality-style elements.