Just weeks before its scheduled premiere, TBS announced that its brand new dating series The Big D has been scrapped. The news comes as parent company Warner Bros Discovery reassesses its overall slate and is committed to making some harsh cuts. Most notably among those was the J.J. Abrams sci-fi drama Demimonde, which had a budget in the $200 million range, and axed this month along with other popular shows.
While the unscripted TBS reality series didn’t have quite the same budget as the Bad Robot-produced series, Deadline says the 10-episode project cost around $10 million. And the company already spent money promoting the show. Billed as a “social experiment,” The Big D was set to follow six recently divorced couples as they search for love again. The only catch is that they’d have to do it while living with their ex. Hosted by Bachelorette newlyweds JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers, the show would also chronicle the groups’ progress as they participate in relationship exercises.
These mini-workshops were designed to help the singles form connections, make peace with their former partners, and get over the issues holding them back from dating. According to Variety, one person who isn’t relationship material would be eliminated in each episode. The process would see jealous exes try to send their rival home or even defend their honor. The TBS project was first announced in March 2021, with filming taking place on location in Costa Rica.
Addressing the surprising cancellation, a spokesperson for TBS said the network is assessing its schedule to ensure they have the right content mix to support its network strategies. The statement (via The Hollywood Reporter) also thanked JoJo Fletcher, Jordan Rodgers, and the executive producers of The Big D for their partnership through the process. The 10-hour series hailed from the creators of VH1’s Dating Naked and MTV’s Are You the One? The show is produced by Lighthearted Entertainment with Rob LaPlante, Jeff Spangler, and Kevin Lee serving as executive producers.
Other notable cuts at TBS include the Damon Wayans comedy Kill the Orange Bear. The cast and crew were told about the decision a week before the comedy series was scheduled to begin production on its 10-episode order in Vancouver. Further culling of WarnerMedia divisions is expected as the new top executives examine the newly acquired assets, with TNT and TBS pulling away from new scripted development. The merger has also resulted in a slew of high-level executives leaving the company.
An extensive list of departures was announced earlier this week, including Corie Henson, EVP and head of unscripted programming for TBS, TNT, and truTV. Todd Weiser, SVP of programming and development at Food Network and Cooking Channel handed in his resignation. Larry Laque, co-chief information officer and executive vice president of facilities and real estate decided he was done at the company. Kristin Brown, SVP of communications, Investigation Discovery and Travel Channel also left along with Jennifer Driscoll, SVP of communications, factual and Discovery+ documentaries, and Doug Seybert, group SVP of marketing.