What's surprising about Monsters and Money in the Morning is the program actually outlived The Jay Leno Show - by one month.
In what could be considered the biggest bomb in local television history, CBS-owned WBBM-TV canceled future T Dog Media Blog TV Hall of Shame inductee Monsters and Money in the Morning after six-and-a-half months of ultra-low ratings to be replaced by a new morning show on August 30, anchored by Steve Bartelstein, who held gigs at WCBS-TV and WABC-TV in New York City.
The move comes as more and more stations are firming up their morning news franchises by adding 4:30 a.m. newscasts, as two of them (WLS-TV and WFLD) just did and another (WGN-TV) is doing so as of Monday.
Monsters leaves the air on August 27.
The program was a mix of sports talk and financial news, hosted by former WSCR personalities Mike North and Dan Jiggetts, with Terry Savage and former CNBC reporter Mike Hedgeus handling the financial side. The program debuted on February 1, only a month after North & Jiggetts' Monsters in the Morning show went belly up on Comcast SportsNet.
While ratings expectations were low, the series never found an audience as ratings failed to match the already low ratings of the traditional news shows it replaced.
Ratings have always been a problem for WBBM and many other CBS affiliates, as the network's morning show still trails Good Morning America and Today, as its been for decades with umpteenth revamps, which even included a morning "news" show with comedy elements, a.k.a. The Morning Program, which ran for only ten months in 1987.
Much like The Morning Program (which was produced by CBS Entertainment), Monsters was not classified a news program, so it would realize revenue possibilities in a way it wouldn't be able to if it had. Of course, the issue was moot given Monsters' poor ratings performance.
As yours truly predicted back in February, this "experiment" wouldn't work (after all, I learned a thing or two after predicting The Jay Leno Show in primetime would be a modest hit - and look how that turned out.) If nobody watched North and Jiggetts on Comcast SportsNet, why would the duo fare any better at The Church of Tisch?
The only thing that will be remembered about Monsters and Money in the Morning is it has reserved a spot in the place where almost all bad television shows go to die - The T Dog Media Blog TV Hall of Shame. And Monsters would make history as the first local television program to ever be inducted (Johnny B. On The Loose doesn't really count because even though it was produced in Chicago, it was nationally syndicated.)