Mole's Ratings Suggest Possible Returnby Susan Schechter -- 07/10/2002
There are many stories about TV execs who take off shows that should have been given another chance. These sad but true stories show that network execs should listen to their fans, and not take off shows that are cult hits. For a very recent example, we have The Mole 2. According to an article that ran on Baseline news wire last week, ABC is realizing that Mole 2 is a hit.
Nearly 10 months after ABC scrapped the second installment of The Mole, the reality show is having the last laugh. The ratings are great. Viewers are watching. Surprise! Despite competition from the NBA Finals and Fox's red-hot talent search show American Idol, young viewers have made Mole 2 ABC's top-rated show among adults 18-49 for the last three weeks in June, according to Baseline.
"I'm really encouraged," ABC reality exec John Saade says of the numbers. "There really seems to be a consistent fan base for the show."
There have been some problems with the new show however. One of them, you guessed it, is keeping the secret of who the Mole actually is. According to Executive Producer David Stanley, it hasn't been too difficult. "Nobody on the show has been paid their winnings," said Stanley. "So there's a strong incentive to keep quiet." Ouch – the winner has had to sit around without his or her winnings for all this time?
Saade says it's too early to tell whether there'll be a Mole 3, but the odds have certainly gone up in recent weeks. A decision will likely be made by this summer's end. The problem with the renewal could be the host, Anderson Cooper. He started working for CNN as anchor during The Mole's hiatus. Mole producer Scott Stone is confident if there is a Mole 3, Anderson Cooper will be the host. "Our sincere hope is that he can do both," he told Baseline. Certainly Cooper has been having fun with this version of the show, but he is replaceable. While many viewers would prefer to see him back, the also want the show to go on with or without Cooper.
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