NEW YORK – After next season, no one will ever Win Ben Stein's Money again.
Comedy Central suits have pulled the plug on the long-running quiz-show featuring know-it-all Ben Stein, a comic actor and former speech writer for Richard Nixon, and a triumvirate of co-hosts, including ABC's future late-night star, Jimmy Kimmel.
"Since 1996, Win Ben Stein's Money has played a large role in the success of the network both from a branding and rating standpoint," Comedy Central spokesman Steve Albani said yesterday.
"However the series has lost momentum over the course of the year and as a result this last batch of original episodes will be the last of the series. Ben has meant a lot to the network and has been a great personality for us and we are in discussions with him about future projects," he said.
The final season of new daily episodes will begin airing Oct. 28.
The quiz-show, in which contestants are pitted against Stein for big bucks, finished taping about the last 65 episodes for its sixth season last March.
Despite halting production, Comedy Central plans to air repeats through at least 2003.
A source close to the situation said production on the show halted when the ratings for the new episodes were about the same as repeats, and earlier this summer Stein was told the show's sixth season would be its last.