190 North Cancelled

190 North Cancelled

Chicago’s longest running lifestyle and entertainment program is hanging it up. 190 NORTH will bring its impressive 14-year run to a close on March 31st.

John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7, cited “economic challenges facing our industry” for the decision. “190 NORTH has had a terrific run in Chicago, due in large part to the vision and creativity of host and executive producer Janet Davies,” Idler said in a statement released by the station. “We especially want to thank Janet, along with the 190 NORTH team of contributors and producers, who have given their all to produce a high quality, award-winning show week after week for the past 14 years.”

While the show’s main free-lance contributors - Doug Banks, Mark Nilsson and Eva Saha – will be leaving, it looks like Ms. Davies will most likely be staying put with ABC 7. And she should... she’s been there since 1984, as a feature reporter and host before helming the popular weekly series. Talks are underway to determine Davies’ role going forward.

What went wrong for 190 NORTH? When ABC 7’s top-rated 10pm weekend newscasts expanded to one hour in November 2011, 190 NORTH was moved to a later time — at 11pm Sundays. Airing a family-oriented program at 11 pm on a school night is probably not going to go well. “There was some ratings erosion,” Idler said in a recent interview with Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder. “It was not delivering what we needed the show to deliver to be profitable.”

“Our plan is to continue an extension of the valued 190 NORTH franchise both on-air and online,” Idler said in announcing the cancellation. No further info has been released as to what that programming will be and no decision has been made on a replacement for 190 NORTH on ABC 7’s schedule. As always, you can enjoy episodes of 190 NORTH online at http://www.190north.com.

On a personal note, I’d just like to take a second to commend my good friends Mark Nilsson and Eva Saha on such stellar work on that show. They infused tremendous personality and energy into each and every segment, I’m gonna miss seeing em on Sunday nights, congratulations on an amazing run!

Mike McNamara is the Co-Founder of The Midwest Independent Film Festival, http://www.midwestfilm.org. Mike pays his rent as an actor in Chicago in theatre, commercials, television and film. More from Mac here: http://screenmag.com/columns/filmmaker-focus/.