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TV just got a lot 'whiter,' says a canceled George Lopez

George Lopez, the first Latino to lead a television series successfully, isn't laughing. "TV just became really, really white again," he said.

Georgelopeztp ABC, he said, has "unceremoniously" canceled his self-titled comedy, which over the years chronicled his personal life from his sad childhood growing up with an abusive grandmother, to his alcoholism and kidney transplant.

"The George Lopez Show" will live on in syndication, but that's not making Lopez feel better about not getting the chance to tell one final season of stories. Lopez said Steve McPherson, ABC president of prime-time entertainment, called him over the weekend to explain that "financially" it wasn't working out, that the network would lose money if it picked up the show again.

That explanation was painful to hear, Lopez said, considering the way the network has shuffled his show over the years -- four different time slots in five years -- and putting it up against "American Idol" time and time again.

It all contributed to the show's low ratings, a point not lost on Lopez who noted that this season his show out-performed two freshman comedies that were renewed: "Notes from the Underbelly" and "Knights of Prosperity."

"I’ll take the good and the bad," Lopez said. "I took the five years of good and I did a lot with the good. My popularity, I was involved in charities, I overcame my illness, all on TV. I shared all of that with America—every secret I had. Every personal feeling. Every emotion. Everything was open to the show. And what happens?"

Lopez said he attributed the cancellation in part to the fact that the show is produced by Warner Bros. Television, and not ABC Television Studios. Using some colorful language that cannot be printed in a family newspaper, Lopez scoffed in particular at another ABC pickup: "Cavemen," about two brothers and one best friend, described as sophisticated cave dudes living in modern-day Atlanta, who will continually find themselves at odds with contemporary society.

"I get kicked out for a...caveman and shows that I out-performed because I’m not owned by [ABC Television Studios]...So a...Chicano can't be on TV but a...caveman can?" Lopez said. "And a Chicano with an audience already? You know when you get in this that shows do not last forever, but this was an important show and to go unceremoniously like this hurts. One hundred seventy people lost their jobs."

For his part, Lopez will be fine. He has an HBO special and a movie coming in the summer, and a deal with Warner Bros. to produce television movies.

"They dealt with us from the bottom of the deck," Lopez said. "Which is hard to take after what was a good run."

** Editor's update: Whoa! Hold your fire, "ATJ" fans!

No sooner did we report the cancellation of the Jim Belushi comedy "According to Jim" that we heard from seemingly everyone who watches the show that we were wrong, wrong, wrong. Well, they may be right, the show might very well be renewed after all. But ABC won't confirm that. We'll keep checking back.

--Maria Elena Fernandez

Comments () | Archives (459)

It isn't about race. It is about money. It is called business. Businesses are in business to make money. Lopez was probably on too long, and putting him up against American Idol... well, he had no chance against that. Sad to see him go, but it isn't about race.

I thought George Lopez was funny at first but it was the same thing after a while . I quit watching his show and supporting his sponsors after he signed off of his show with the racial taunt toward Americans of Viva La Raza.

First of all, George has a point--the representation of Latinos/Chicanos in mainstream Hollywood is virtually non-existent and leading roles...well.... So, when he said that "TV just got a lot whiter," he was right not racist. Now, whether his show was canceled for that reason is a different matter altogether. I agree that many of the characterizations of Latinos on his show were also problematic (i.e. his daughter's shacking up, etc.) but that does not negate the reality of such issues. Second of all, race is still an issue in the United States. It wasn't too long ago that African-Americans were required to pay or take literacy tests to vote, and lets not forget, African-Americans currently make up a whopping 2% of the entire Ucla student body (including the athletes!). It's just that "Anglos" and "patriotic Americans" refuse to deal with the U.S.'s DARK secret--that this country has a long history of racism, classism and gender inequality (see: Native Am. History). No! This country and its founders could never do that! God forbid! Perhaps George Lopez is a symbolic reminder of that history and that's why many of the bloggers on this site hold such disregard for him. Oh yeah...almost forgot...there are more Anglos getting free lunch and free health care in this country than Latinos; George Lopez is a Chicano (which by definition means he was born in the U.S. and he celebrates his "Indigenous/dark" heritage) and dissent is not un-American! Just my humble opinion.

I could not say it any better than this person did...

I am glad this silly show was cancelled. The reason I am glad is due to George's stand up routine called "American Mexican" where his vulgarity against the President of the United States hits an all time low. Also in his routine he stands with and justifies all the illegal aliens breaking the law in this great county. The country that provides the opportunities for him to make millions of dollars. He showed his utter disdain for America and all of us who call ourselves Americans

If George isn't that funny, I guess he is conning a lot of folks. He holds the attendance record at the Universal Amphitheatre. Think of all the bands and entertainers that have performed at the Universal and he topped them all. I look forward to seeing George continue to break barriers and kick much butt in the future.

"Lopez’s current CD “Team Leader” was nominated for a 2004 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. His autobiography “Why You Crying?” was released the same year and immediately entered in the New York Times Bestsellers top twenty. He has performed stand-up for the President at the historic Ford Theatre in Washington, DC and set an attendance record at Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles with seven consecutive sold-out performances."

If Lopez got the ratings he would be on television … bottom line.

With 5 years on television Lopez might show a certain amount of gratitude and grace… but no he has got to blame it on his race and make racist comments about other races.

American’s are no longer listening to this kind of thing.

The show sucked! Adios amigo!

first De La Hoya loses his fight, now G-Lo loses his show. It's a conspiracy!!!

I can't stand this race-blaming victim mentality. Grow up George. I use to like your show. You've discredited yourself and future Chicano show biz wanabes. I am Asian American and am tired of hearing other races blame the white race. I never see any Asian "role model" on TV or elsewhere yet can someone explain why Asian students do so well in school and why Asains as a group do so much better than the other races? I guess that' they key - we think TV and blaming others is a waste of life.

What's the hispanic version of "sour grapes"?

Race has nothing to do with it.....the show was over acted and not funny.

besides the hot wife and daughter, there really was no reason to watch the incredible tedious crap that was the george lopez show. george should be grateful that that he got paid for the 5 years of garbage that he did put out. i don't think by his show’s predictable demise t.v. got 'whiter' (although it is interesting that he classifies cave men as 'white'), just a little less preachy.

I admire George Lopez for who he is and what his show did to the rest of us non-Latinos -- opened up their culture a little bit more in the modern Americana context. However, I am sad, angry and frankly, frustrated, that he has used the race card to express his disappointment. One of the challenges for ethnic minorities is to see beyond the spectrum of race in each and every transaction of life. Will the same George Lopez have gotten his show in the first place, if he wasn't Latino? He should be grateful to the network for giving him this opportunity. Things don't work out in the crazy world of network television. George should know this by now and not, instead, resort to cheap and tawdry race based remarks. I expected more class from him. He will bounce back and so will, other Latino artistes. We must celebrate the tenure of his wonderful show and see all the positive upshots and not resort to race based mud slinging. Enough!

I never even knew he had a show on TV. Who is this guy? really

Isnt what makes good comedians/great comedy writing the ability to step back, take an honest look at yourself and others, and have a good laugh at our ONE OF A KIND similarities as HUMANS?? I've wriiten an original TV sitcom that makes fun of EVERYONE under the sun. Remember JOKES? Black, Red, White, Yellow ALL start to seem really GRAY and SICKLY when they allow something as superficial as "race" to dictate their lives. When aliens come to invade Earth do you think they will pick out whites or blacks to exterminate? Or maybe just see a bunch of PEOPLE running around like idiots... Pity the comedians who have forgotten to laugh at themselves first and foremost

George Lopez' show did not look funny at all. As previous commenters have said, he's lucky he was on for five years.
I do have a prediction: Carlos Mencia will be the next to get the axe. Some comedians are just better doing standup. The only comedian I thought had a really good show was Dave Chappelle, even though it wasn't a sitcom. Plus he can actually act. Clankity clank son!


"Do not diss the President"

That's laughable. George W. Bush is a clown and the large majority of America and the world understands this. He'll go down as the worst one to ever step foot in the White House. Only fools support Bush at this point. :-)


Perhaps if the man was FUNNY his show might have garnered more ratings. His show isn't funny, his act isn't funny, his acting is awful. It seems his sole qualification for getting a sitcom was that they needed another minority on the air to meet their policitally mandated, social engineering quota.

Why is it that George Lopez plays the race card? Is he spending too much time marching with the protestors in L.A.? His show got cancelled because it was terrible. I watched it a few times and his lines were always contrived. Comedy doesn't work that way. I do like Ugly Betty, so there are plenty of chicanas on ABC TV.

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