Mediocre ratings for Style Network's "Big Rich Atlanta" has probably kept the network from renewing the show.
But the death of the Style Network itself, announced this morning by NBC Universal in a surprise, virtually guarantees the death of the show, last seen in April.
Style created "Big Rich Atlanta" as a spin-off of "Big Rich Texas," one of its most successful shows. But "Big Rich Atlanta" struggled in the ratings and failed to get much buzz. Style has said nothing since the show's finale more than four months ago. (The "Big Rich Atlanta" Twitter page barely has 6,000 followers and hasn't seen a new post since April.)
"In pursuit of that same demo [as Bravo, E! and Oxygen], Style presents brand overlap within our portfolio," Bonnie Hammer noted in an internal memo explaining the surprise decision, which will result in layoffs and an employee reshuffling.
Esquire Network, which is geared to guys in a more sophisticated way than, say, Spike or Comedy Central, was originally going to replace G4, the gaming network. The problem with Style: much of its programming overlapped with sister stations Bravo, E! and Oxygen. It lagged far behind the other three in ratings
For instance,"Big Rich Atlanta" was a pale copycat of the Bravo "Real Housewives" shows.
Some of Style's more successful original programs may migrate elsewhere such as "Guiliana & Bill" to E! But it's doubtful anyone will claim "Big Rich Atlanta."
The network change takes effect Sept. 23, according to the story.