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'The Chopping Block' has been chopped

March 27, 2009 |  1:37 pm

MpwSomewhere, Gordon Ramsay is laughing.

NBC brought the ax down on "The Chopping Block," just three weeks into the reality TV show pitting eight couples against each other in a race for $250,000 and a shot at running their own restaurant.

The network had high hopes for the competition headed up by three-star Michelin chef Marco Pierre White — who once tutored Ramsay in the kitchen arts. An ad for "The Chopping Block" even appeared during the Super Bowl, underscoring White's deadly serious, menacing mein when it comes to all things edible. (Ramsay and White reportedly have nothing to do with each other anymore, and Ramsay continues to fly high with the successful "Hell's Kitchen" on Fox.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I found White riveting, mesmerizing — and oh-so-frightening. 

Reviewers? Not so much. And viewers? They responded with a big fat yawn. 

The series premiered in fourth place on March 11 and went downhill from there. The show, up against the likes of "American Idol," "Survivor," "Scrubs" "Better off Ted" and "America's Next Top Model," pulled in just 2.6 million viewers this week, NBC said.

According to Variety, the 9 p.m. time slot will be filled by repeats of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Also according to Variety, "NBC said it hopes to bring the show back at a later date."

Not sure exactly what that means. A call to NBC was not immediately returned, so stay tuned. Still to be answered: Will viewers — all five of us — who turned in ever find out what happened? (Was it Dean? It had to be Dean, right? At the very least, let's hope it wasn't Angie.)

— Rene Lynch

Photo credit: NBC Universal