Fashion Star Cancelled At NBC

It looks like Jessica Simpson is out of a job. The new mom recently helped to judge and mentor alongside John Varvatos and Nicole Richie on NBC’s unscripted competition series Fashion Star, but over the weekend, NBC officially announced the show will not return for a third season on the network during the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour.

The unscripted show never fared particularly well on the network, with the Season 1 final only pulling a 1.5 rating. Still, NBC opted to bring the show back for a second season, changing the show’s image a bit, adding Express as a buyer (dropping H&M) and grouping the contestants up into teams for the second. This backfired horribly, with the Season 2 finale only bringing in a .5 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic, numbers that are far less excusable than the 1.5 rating the finale brought in the first time around. There was no formal announcement for the cancellation, but THR asked NBC President of Programming Bob Greenblatt about the series, and he confirmed Fashion Star has been given the axe.

For years, I looked for a fashion series that could provide a service that was similar but a little different than Lifetime’s Project Runway, which is currently going strong in its 12th season. The idea of having buyers pick up the looks of some of the contestants each week was intriguing, as was physically watching the buyers choose how much they were willing to pay for an order of a garment on the show. However, the fashion that went down the aisle was overly commercialized and unlike Project Runway, the contestants had help in creating their garments, so the series never seemed as tough and design-oriented as other fashion competition shows.

You can check out the buyer and contestant dynamic of the series, below.

Despite having The Voice and veteran programs like America’s Got Talent, NBC hasn’t found a new reality programming niche over the last couple of seasons. The network hopes to change that with Million Second Quiz, a brand new unscripted competition series that will air from a large, hourglass-shaped container in Manhattan. The stunt will last for a couple of weeks in September, with contestants being asked to test their endurance, as well as their mental capabilities. Ryan Seacrest was in talks this month to host.

With other reality efforts like Fashion Star and Ready for Love failing, along with shows like Celebrity Apprentice losing viewers every year, NBC seems to have a lot of hope in the new series. Theoretically, the network should have had a hit with Fashion Star, but that show is a great example of why the execution of a series is just as important as its concept.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.