Zac Efron’s new travelogue series Down to Earth with Zac Efron is down for the count. TV Line reports the CW has pulled Down to Earth off the air after only two episodes following less-than-stellar ratings. The cancellation comes at the same time the WB also decided to pull the plug on Fantastic Friends, a series starring James and Oliver Phelps, otherwise known as George and Fred Weasley from the Harry Potter films.
Down to Earth with Zac Efron has been canceled at The CW after only two episodes.
The Zac Efron documentary series featured the High School Musical actor jetting around the world to countries like France, London, Iceland, and a slew of others while focusing on themes like life experience, green energy, and sustainable living practices. Down to Earth with Zac Efron made its CW debut on July 18, drawing only 306,000 viewers. Viewer numbers for the second episode dropped by 24 percent to 232,000, leading the network to pull the series from its Tuesday night lineup.
Down to Earth previously ran for two seasons on Netflix before making its network premiere on the CW earlier this month. The show was praised for Zac Efron’s curious and exploratory nature but was criticized for presenting its environmental message in a simplistic way. Another complaint about the series was its willingness to push pseudoscientific products such as so-called “cancer-preventing superfoods” like raw goat milk by mixing them in with actual science-based reporting.
Most of the unproven products mentioned on the show came from self-described “wellness expert” Darin Olien, a health and wellness guru known for peddling fad diets and dietary supplements with no scientific backing. Olien was a producer on Down to Earth with Zac Efron as well as Efron’s onscreen costar.
On a similar note, Down to Earth‘s cancellation buddy, Fantastic Friends, was also a travelogue that followed the Phelps twins as they explored ancient cities with guest stars like Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams and fellow former child star Haley Joel Osman.
The cancellations come as a result of the CW’s new management team and their focus on reducing costs by acquiring inexpensive programming from other sources and airing it on the network. Since the CW doesn’t own these shows, the company isn’t shy about unceremoniously yanking titles like Down to Earth with Zac Efron off the air when they don’t generate enough revenue.
Down to Earth‘s low ratings most likely meant the CW couldn’t charge a premium for ads that ran during the show.
The show was praised for Zac Efron’s curious and exploratory nature but was criticized for presenting its environmental message in a simplistic way.
The pulling of Down To Earth and Fantastic Friends comes after the CW canceled another acquired series, Barons, in June. The Australian drama about surf culture was pulled off the air after only four episodes, meaning that the series at least managed to last twice as long as the two travelogues.
Both seasons of Down to Earth are still available on Netflix for fans who can’t get enough of Zac Efron in a beard, hiking through the jungle, and hocking snake oil.
In the meantime, The CW will replace both Zac Efron’s series and Fantastic Friends with repeats of Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Whose Line Is It Anyway? beginning August 1.