Housing-Discrimination Reality Show Nixed

ABC (search) abruptly pulled the plug on what promised to be the most controversial new series of the summer Wednesday night, "Welcome to the Neighborhood." (search)

The reality show set up three white, Christian families from an affluent Texas suburb to select which of seven minority families would be allowed to move in.

The premise of the series immediately set off howls among fair-housing groups and civil-rights advocates.

Apparently, the outpouring of protests forced ABC to yank the show off the air 10 days before it was to debut.

"Our intention with 'Welcome to the Neighborhood' was to show the transformative process that takes place when people are forced to confront preconceived notions of what makes a good neighbor, and we believe the series delivers exactly that," said an unsigned network statement.

"However ... given the sensitivity of the subject matter in early episodes we have decided not to air the series at this time."

One of seven families — including a Korean family, a Hispanic family, a, family of Wiccans and a gay couple with an adopted black child — stood to win a luxury, four-bedroom house if they could convince their established, white neighbors.

The network has been promoting the show in on-air ads for more than a month.

But ABC began feeling the heat late last week when civil rights groups tore into the show.

The National Fair Housing Alliance (search), which led the attack, urged the network and its affiliates to drop the show.

"Christian organizations and white residents of suburban communities ought to be offended by the bigotry and ignorance displayed in this program," said NFHA President Shanna Smith.