Entertainment & Arts

James Van Der Beek blasts TV ratings system

Dreama Walker, James Van Der Beek and Krysten Ritter
Image caption James Van Der Beek stars in Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 with Dreama Walker and Krysten Ritter

Actor James Van Der Beek has criticised US television's reliance on ratings, calling the system "antiquated".

He made the comments after revealing on Twitter his sitcom, Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, had been cancelled midway through its second series.

The actor said low viewing figures were behind ABC's decision to cancel it.

He complained the current method of measuring audience figures did not take into account alternatives to live viewing, such as video on demand.

"I know most of you watched us on your own time and platform and that the competitive network scheduling game is irrelevant to you," he said.

"But network TV is a business dictated by Nielsen ratings and while that's an antiquated business model, it's the only one they've got."

When the first series of Apartment 23 began last April, the pilot episode was watched by 6.91 million people, while the rest of the season drew audiences of between 4.73 million and 6.43 million.

The second series began with 4.2 million, but had slumped as low as 1.73 million after it was moved to a Sunday from its usual Tuesday night slot.

The sitcom, which features the former Dawson's Creek star as a fictionalised version of himself, was pulled from TV schedules earlier this week, 11 episodes into the season.

ABC had not commented on the show's future, but Van Der Beek later tweeted: "Sad to say ABC has pulled #Apt23 and will not be airing the 8 remaining episodes any time soon.

"Translation: we've basically been cancelled."

However the actor asked fans not to "bash" the TV network for its decision.

"You've got to give ABC props for ever picking us up in the first place," he said. "They took a shot at something original and edgy. I respect them for it."

The show is broadcast on Channel 4 and its sister channel E4 in the UK.

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