Shop & Style Is No Sale in NBC Test

If you'd been meaning to check out the new home shopping show, Shop & Style, airing on select NBC owned stations and ShopNBC, forget about it. NBC pulled the plug after just two weeks on the air.

The program was produced by Today producer Diane Masciale and hosted by Lynne Koplitz (you might remember her from syndication's Change of Heart and Food Network's How to Boil Water) and Kerry McNally, who previously worked at WFLA-TV Tampa, Fla. It had better production values than your average home shopping show. But it lacked viewers who wanted to buy stuff.

NBC positioned the show as a trial that would air in daytime throughout August on its TV stations in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco, with a simulcast on ShopNBC, the home shopping cable channel in which NBC has a 40% stake. But when the plug was pulled, a spokeswoman insisted that executives always envisioned it as a two-to-four week test and not necessarily one that would continue throughout August.

NBC issued a short statement confirming the cancellation, adding that it "provided ShopNBC with increased online traffic, new customers and additional vendors. Our next step is to evaluate the results and determine where to go with the concept."

One issue to be evaluated: why viewers would buy fewer mesh rings and cooking products from an over-the-air show than they would from a cable show.

The show's ratings tell part of the story—it averaged a 1.0 rating/3 share in Chicago, down from a 2.2/7 for The Other Half, which had been airing in the 10 a.m.-11 a.m. slot. Philadelphia was the only market where the home shopping show did a little better in the ratings than the show it replaced (also The Other Half).

But observers note that the show couldn't have been moving much product off the shelves to be dropped so quickly (although it would have come off the air at the end of August in any event). A source familiar with the situation confirmed that executives involved didn't feel sales were strong enough to justify the show's commercial-free format. The show did have promotional breaks that teased upcoming episodes of Today and new season shows such as Miss Match as well as Shop & Style itself.

NBC executives declined comment beyond the statement.