Here's the letter from Bill Shine Fox's SVP to senior producers of the show:
August 14, 2007
TO: Senior Producers
FR: Bill Shine
RE: Half Hour News Hour/Weekend Programming
Iâ€™d like to share some news with you about weekend programming.
Joel Surnow and I have mutually decided that we will not continue the Half Hour News Hour beyond its current 15 episode run. The last show will be presented on September 16th.
While HHNH performed admirably in the ratings and Kurt Long and Jennifer Robertson did a wonderful job, we are considering ways to retool the show for future scheduling needs. There is still a chance you will see the program at some point in the future.
Iâ€™d like to take this opportunity to thank Joel and his team. He is a visionary in this business and he created a contrarian program that fulfilled an untapped niche in the comedy genre.
Wow. If they did so well in the ratings, then why would they cancel the show. Could it have something to do with being the lowest rated show ever to be reviewed on Metacritic?
Here's a sample:
There's certainly no shortage of comedy on the Fox News Channel, from the antics on "Fox & Friends" to Geraldo Rivera to memory-free analysts like that pixie Dick Morris. Still, "24" producers Joel Surnow and Manny Coto clearly saw a void for a conservative counterpart to "The Daily Show"/"Colbert Report," and Fox was willing to oblige by ponying up for two tryout specials. The right will doubtless welcome the gesture, but for those who really yearn to mix laughs with news and/or politics, try following FNC's Anna Nicole Smith coverage or the current convoluted storyline on "24."
From The Chicago Tribune
"The Half Hour News Hour" is being billed as a right-wing response to the supposedly left-leaning "Daily Show," but the new Fox News Channel show misunderstands the central premise of Jon Stewart’s Comedy Central show. "The Daily Show’s" goal is to skewer stupidity in all its forms - and that includes taking shots at both the left and the right (and especially at the arrogant media). "The Half Hour News Hour," on the other hand, lines up a variety of lefty icons - Hillary, Che Guevara, Ed Begley Jr. - and fires off jokes aimed at those targets, but the humor is so predictable and so stale that it fails to produce any laughs. The humor on this fake newscast feels forced and the jokes are not nearly as nimble and timely as they should be -- is anyone of any political persuasion still supposed to find Dennis Kucinich jokes funny?
And from The Hollywood Reporter
Joel Surnow (best known for "24"), Manny Coto and Ned Rice feel their pain. The trio developed "The 1⁄2 Hour News Hour," a political satire show so desperately one-sided that it could be at home on only one channel, Fox News. A look at the first episode suggests that, just as A.M. radio is the unassailable province of the right, TV might better be left to the left.
And lastly a glimpse of the show that was supposed to "set Michael Moore's hair on fire" Lesson: CONSERVATIVE COMEDY ISN'T FUNNY!! So long suckers. We hardly knew ya!!