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Discovery Channel Cancels The Fighters After One Episode, Which Still Pulled Better Numbers Than ‘TUF: Nations’

(Yep, that’s Matt Phinney, a.k.a Michael “Fedor on Zeus’s shoulders” Bisping, featured in the one and only episode of “The Fighters.” Photo via Discovery.)

One of the smaller takeaways from Dana White’s near-meltdown at a press luncheon last week was the unfortunate news that his boxing-focused reality show, The Fighters, pulled in “fucking horrendous” numbers for its premiere episode (Ed note: Yeah, seems to be a lot of that going around). And indeed, when a show pulls in just 385,000 viewers on a channel that regularly gets over a million people to watch Amish Mafia, it’s safe to say that it is failing to find its target audience.

To be cancelled after one episode, though? That’s harsh, son. But that is also the reality of The Fighters, as boxing coach Peter Welsh and producer Craig Piligian confirmed yesterday that the show is dunzo via Twitter, stating, “Sorry to say it has. Such a great show, we hope to get it on an audience appropriate network.”

Wait, you mean to tell me that sasquatch-hunting aficionados can’t *also* appreciate a gritty show centered around the lives of struggling, Boston-based fighters? Or is the Bigfoot show the History channel’s doing? All I know is that reality television is a bottomless pit of despair and so are the people who choose to watch it. Except for Bar Rescue, obviously.Jon Taffer is cleaning up this cesspool of a country one speakeasy at a time and deserves our praise for it.

The Fighters now joins the ranks of such one-hit wonders as Heil Honey I’m Home, Co-Ed Fever, and Public Morals to never reach a second episode. Honestly, all of those other shows sound far more interesting than The Fighters, but I’m also a sucker for comedies about Hitler.

Oh, and the worst part? Despite being an absolute failure, The Fighters pulled in more viewers for its first episode than TUF: Nations has all season (via MMAFighting):

The new season of Ultimate Fighter: Nations is destined to be the lowest-rated season in the show’s history. he Jan. 15 debut did 371,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1 and the second episode on Jan. 22 fell to 253,000, the two least-watched, first-run episodes ever. The third episode, on Jan. 29, was moved to FS 2, but it will return to FS 1 in its usual 10 p.m. Wednesday night slot on Feb. 5.

While it’s not really surprising that TUF: Nations is bombing considering its Australian and Canadian-centric focus, it can’t be uplifting to learn that the latest incarnation of your long-past-relevant show is pulling in less viewers than your cousin’s graduation video.

Pour one out for The Fighters tonight, Potato Nation. We barely knew ye.

-J. Jones

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