Showtime calls an early end to ‘The Franchise’

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

In what looks to be a clear case of art imitating life, Showtime's "The Franchise" is throwing in the towel on its current season.

Wednesday's episode of the program that has followed the last-place Miami Marlins all season will be its seventh and final installment, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel. The show had been scheduled to last eight weeks with the finale airing on Aug. 29.

Rodriguez says the show's producers and the Marlins have agreed to count an April preview as one of the eight episodes. Last year's inaugural run with the San Francisco Giants also featured an early spring preview, but the eight-week summer run was seen through until its end.

Not that you can blame Showtime for beaching the Marlins early. While the new-look franchise appeared to be the ideal candidate at the start of the season, the intrigue unraveled as the team crashed and burned during the month of July. The show had its moments, but the quality started to waver once it had to resort to doing features on Nathan Eovaldi (no offense, Nate!) and what it's like when a group of wives watch a game at a sushi restaurant.

I still enjoyed watching it, though, and hopefully this early end in 2012 doesn't signal the death of the show for a third season in 2013. The Los Angeles Dodgers would seem to be a prime candidate to make a run at ending the curse that has befallen the show's first two subjects.

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