Lifetime Axes Ruby Wax Series

12/12/1999 7:00 PM Eastern

Lifetime Television has pulled the plug on Ruby, its
original weekly half-hour primetime showfeaturing the British talk-show host Ruby

Ruby and Beyond Chance were both original
reality-based series that Lifetime put on the air in August. Wax, an American, went to
Great Britain to become an actress and instead became a talk-show sensation on the British
Broadcasting Corp.

On her Lifetime series, Wax did wacky comedic interviews
with such subjects as cowboys in the West or Las Vegas showgirls. The show, described as 60
on acid, was produced by HBO Downtown.

Ruby, which aired at 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays, averaged
a 0.9 rating, according to Lifetime. The network ordered 13 episodes of the show, and will
not order any new ones.

"We had very high hopes for Ruby," Lifetime
president Carole Black said. "She tested so well, but in the actual translation of
the show … this happens. People have pilots, and then you have the actual show. We
were very disappointed that she didn't do better."

Black said Lifetime tested Wax with heavy and light
viewers, "and I really think the show just didn't work. And I have to listen to the
viewer, and that was very disappointing for us."

Added Black: "It's a shame. I think Ruby felt really
good about Lifetime. Maybe some time in the future we can do something with her."

Ruby was dropped from Lifetime's schedule this month.
Reruns may be brought back in January for a reprise, according to Black.

In contrast to Ruby -- Beyond Chance, originally
titled How Could it Happen and hosted by Grammy award-winning singer Melissa
Etheridge -- is performing well, Black said.

During the November sweep, Lifetime posted a 1.5 rating in
primetime, up 7 percent from its year-ago 1.4, according to Nielsen Media Research.

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