NBC Yanks The Chopping Block Off the Air

After three terrible and badly-rated episodes, NBC is pulling The Chopping Block from primetime. (Episode three averaged a positively dreadful 2.6 million viewers up against a two-hour American Idol.)

We were down on the show from the beginning: In our review we called it a "painful to watch" "sloppily-executed crudely-edited mess." The contestants were barely qualified, the food was terrible, and Marco Pierre White's posturing and dictums were just bizarre — all combining into a total turn-off for viewers. The only saving grace for fans of food was the critics — Corby Kummer, Jeffrey Steingarten, and Tim and Nina Zagat — but their appearances, edited down to mere soundbites, simply wasn't enough the lend the show any gravitas or credibility, and push it out of the ratings gutter.

It was and still is a great concept — one that's worked successfully in Australia and the UK — but it fell apart in the hands of Granada America, the production company, a self-proclaimed "leading producer in the USA," responsible for gems like Celebrity Fit Club, Nanny 911, and the upcoming Steven Segal: Lawman, as well as the American versions of Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares.

It's an inauspicious start to Marco Pierre White's US debut — he's an accomplished and celebrated chef, a bonafide celebrity — and we sincerely hope he'll get a second chance. It truly shows that a good idea in the wrong hands can turn out to be a dud.

Adding insult to injury, NBC is replacing The Chopping Block with repeats of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Sources say NBC plans to air the five remaining episodes at some point, which we assume means random and unpromoted Friday nights.

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