Fred Willard - another job gone (Photo : Reuters)
ABC cancelled the improv comedy show "Trust Us With Your Life" this week, adding to the woes of the show's host Fred Willard.
Willard was arrested on July 18 for performing a lewd act in the Tiki Theater Xymposium in Hollywood. Willard had purchased a ticket to view the theater's three pornographic offerings - Step Dad, Follow Me 2, and a parody of The Client List.
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Willard has repeatedly stated that he did nothing wrong. On Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night, he said "It's embarrassing as hell, but let me say this - nothing happened. I did nothing wrong, everything's being sorted out as we speak."
The arrest quickly cost the prolific actor and comedian a job. He was removed as narrator of the PBS show "Market Warriors", and PBS made no bones about the fact that the reason was his arrest. The show had not yet aired, and his narration was re-recorded with another actor.
ABC, however, stated Willard would remain as host of "Trust Us With Your Life", which had debuted eight days before his arrest.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, however, poor ratings made it impossible for the show to carry on. The show had a rating of 0.6 with the 18-49 age group last week and managed only 1.83 million viewers, making it the network's worst-performing broadcast of the summer.
"Trust Us With Your Life" will be replaced with reruns of "Wipeout".
The long-term effects of Willard's arrest on his professional life may not be immediately apparent, but his legal travails may be at an end. He can avoid prosecution if he completes a "diversion program" designed to educate him on crime and the law.