What the hell happened to W Network’s The Audience?

W Network logo (screenshot via wnetwork.com)

W Network logo (screenshot via wnetwork.com)

Anybody remember W Network’s The Audience? If that name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t worry, you’re likely not alone, and W Network would probably prefer it that way anyway. If you have heard of The Audience, you might be wondering what happened to it.

Just so we’re all on the same page, The Audience is a show where an indecisive person with a big dilemma has a group of 50 strangers follow them around for a week to decide what to do for them. Sounds a bit nutty, doesn’t it? So, it might not surprise you if I said that it’s an adaptation of a Channel 4 series.

Anyway, W Network released a press release on February 27th saying the show would debut on March 27th on both W Network and OWN at 9 PM. (From the sound of it OWN would’ve just been simulcasting the premiere and it would’ve run exclusively on W Network after that.) March 27th has come and gone, but The Audience is nowhere to be seen on W Network’s schedule.

I only realized the show didn’t make it to air when I was trying to PVR it so I’d be able to review the program. When I couldn’t find it on my IPG, I thought Rogers might have mixed up W Network’s schedule. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. The Rogers IPG once said The Crazy Ones, which airs on its very own City, would’ve aired on CTV one night, when CTV was actually airing Two and a Half Men in the slot.

Screengrab of The Audience promo up on W Network's site (screenshot via wnetwork.com)

Screengrab of The Audience promo up on W Network’s site (screenshot via wnetwork.com)

To make sure it wasn’t an IPG mix up, I hit up W Network’s site. The Audience didn’t appear on W Network’s schedule there either. Then I went to its show page to see what was up. It was pretty bare and was mum about a specific premiere date. However, the video on the page does say it “Premieres Spring 2014.” Still perplexed, I went over to The Audience’s Twitter page and its last tweet on March 3rd said it would premiere on March 27th, same goes for its Twitter bio.

So what happened? This whole thing sure as hell fooled me. The Audience even made What To Watch for its supposed premiere week as well.

The only thing I’ve been able to find about its disappearance is a photo dated March 6th on Facebook with this message: “The Audience (Canada) air date has unfortunately been changed from end of March to this summer. We’ll keep you posted on any new info as we receive it.” That’s about it for an explanation. I didn’t come across a press release or anything from the network about why the show was suddenly pushed off to the summer.

It’s pretty sloppy for W Network to pull a show less than a month before its schedule debut, not only that but not even bothering to tell anyone it pushed the premiere. It was just silent about the entire thing, not even making an effort to fix the incorrect information online.

The timing is also suspect. W Network released The Audience’s press release on February the 27th. The show was being promoted through social media at least up until the 3rd of March (the Twitter post I referred to above). After that, W Network released a press release with highlights of its March programming on the 5th (with The Audience now in retrospect glaringly missing). Then on the 6th, there’s only a brief mention its premiere has been bumped on Facebook, and that’s it. So what happened in that one week between the press release and the two sentence long Facebook post saying it was bumped? That remains a mystery, at least for now.