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MTV pulls DJ AM series from primetime

MTV has yanked its deceased-DJ intervention series "Gone Too Far" from its primetime schedule after it died in the ratings.

The reality series has been moved to Thursdays at 11 p.m., starting this week.

Only three of the eight episodes ordered ran in primetime, when the number of Homes Using Television is much higher than other dayparts.

But its chance for survival in primetime pretty much evaporated when its much ballyhooed premiere only attracted half a million viewers. Things looked slightly less dismal the second week -- episode No. 2 attracted about 700,000 people. But last week's third third episode fell back down to under half a million.

"Gone Too Far" features young drug addicts who are shown using and talking about their drug of choice. Celebrity DJ Adam Goldstein -- aka DJ AM -- headlined the show and is featured in each episode, dispensing tough love to the addicts and their families with a view toward getting the addict into rehab.

Goldstein, initially billed in the show as a sober recovering addict, was found dead shortly after he'd finished taping the eight episodes, and authorities ruled he'd died of a lethal cocktail of cocaine and prescription drugs, including Oxycontin, Vicodin, Klonopin, Zanax and Benadryl.

MTV clammed up about the series -- which had been touted as a centerpiece of its new "aspirational" reality programming mandate -- when DJ AM was found dead, and would not discuss its future, or lack thereof.

Eventually, the network figured out a way to fumigate the show and, one week after the New York medical examiner's office finally issued its report on the cause of Goldstein's death, MTV announced it had decided to go ahead and debut the series, one week after originally planned. The announcement was accompanied by the blessing of Goldstein's family, and a statement from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

At that time, MTV said it would run the first episode without ads and instead scatter it with Public Service Announcements. MTV did so, and that first episode ran for only 50 minutes. Then MTV immediately reran the episode with double the ad load -- it ran 70 minutes.

Ironically, the network has replaced "Gone Too Far" on Mondays with reruns of CMT's "World's Strictest Parents."

By Lisa de Moraes  |  November 4, 2009; 6:06 PM ET
Categories:  TV News  
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