Picture This

Boxing-Related Cable Shows Take It On The Chin

4/12/2011 8:13 PM

Cable shows related to the sweet science have taken a beating this year.

Animal Planet won’t ring the bell for a second season of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson’s reality series Taking On Tyson.

Tyson’s first jab at the reality series genre chronicling his entry into the pigeon racing ring failed to knockout enough viewers to justify a second season, according to network officials. The series averaged just 368,000 viewers, well below the 600,000 subscribers Animal Planet averaged in primetime during  first quarter 2011.

While Tyson has enhanced his post-boxing image with his guest appearance in the hit comedy movie The Hangover – he’ll also appear in this spring’s Hangover sequel – his unusual adoration of pigeons and the sport of pigeon racing just didn’t fly with viewers.

“We love Taking on Tyson and working with Mike and we are enormously proud of the show,” Animal Planet Media president and general manager Marjorie Kaplan said. “Unfortunately, the series did not find as large an audience as we hoped.”

Animal Planet is not ready to throw in the towel on its relationship with Tyson. Kaplan said that the network is talking to the champ about other projects.

Tyson’s reality series KO follows the demise last month of FX’s boxing-themed series Lights Out.

The series, which starred which starred Holt McCallany as an aging former boxing champion trying to adjust to life outside the ring, averaged 812,000 total viewers and 598,000 adults 18-49 for FX.

Lights Out was a ratings lightweight compared to the network’s popular series Justified, which landed a much bigger ratings punch in its 2010 freshman season, averaging 2.1 million viewers.

March