On Wednesday, TLC canceled its once-controversial show All-American Muslim not because of any new uproar but because nobody wants to watch a show about a normal, all-American family. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show shed nearly half its viewers within its first few weeks: "The docuseries about five Lebanese American Muslim families in Michigan opened well in its November bow, drawing 1.7 million viewers but shed viewers despite public protests, attracting 900,000 viewers to its Dec. 18 finale."
One of the cast members told the Detroit Free Press: "Our show helped to pave the way for the moderate Muslim voice to be heard in this nation." That may have been the problem right there. Moderate voices make for lousy TV—especially Reality TV. After the initial controversy in which some conservative Christians thought the show didn't portray its subjects as extremist enough and some conservative Muslims didn't think it portrayed them as pious enough died down, the only controversy left was when PETA got mad that one of the characters gave away a dog. How do you expect a show that "followed around Dearborn residents at football practice, weddings, and inside homes," as the Free Press described it, to compete with something like Jersey Shore? At least it got canceled for the right reasons.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.