MUNCIE, Ind. – CBS has tossed "Armed & Famous" into the cancellation cooler.
The new reality television series, which followed five lesser-celebrities during their time as gun-carrying reserve officers of the Muncie Police Department, has been axed after four episodes.
Producers planned seven episodes of "Armed & Famous," whose stars included former "CHiPs" star Erik Estrada, singer La Toya Jackson and Jack Osbourne. At least one unaired episode is to be shown this weekend on the cable channel VH1.
The show was broadcast on Wednesday nights, opposite Fox's top-rated "American Idol." "Armed & Famous" was 44th in the TV ratings its first week when two episodes aired, but fell to 70th for its Jan. 17 episode, according to Nielsen Media Research.
"It came down to ratings," CBS spokesman Chris Ender said Monday. "Going up against `American Idol' was a tall task for the show."
VHI will air the one new episode and the four already broadcast at 5 p.m. Saturday, said Laura Nelson, a spokeswoman for the channel. She said VH1 expected to show the last two "Armed & Famous" episodes if they were completed by its producers.
Muncie Mayor Dan Canan said the producer had predicted the show would have a tough time going up against "American Idol."
"I don't understand that part of the business," he said. "I'm just pleased with how the city was portrayed and how the department was portrayed."
Canan said police officers told him they believed the show gave a fairly realistic look at local police procedures.
"It's showing the general public what they're doing in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep," Canan said.