By LJDB; June 9, 2005

Photo: NBC Universal
In February, Executive Producer Jonathan Prince said in an interview with TVGuide that they had filmed a 10 minute “epilogue/alternate ending” to “American Dreams” in the event that NBC decided to cancel the series. However, as of now, the re-airing for the open-ended finale with the new ending has yet to be scheduled.
While “American Dreams” has been a so-called bubble show since the start of its 2nd season, NBC Universal Television President (then, NBC Entertainment President) Jeff Zucker continued to be the show’s biggest supporter. The show was renewed for a shortened 3rd season that saw the series make a move to Wednesdays for its final four episodes from its usual Sunday timeslot.

Despite a big premiere for the series in 2002, the family drama saw a decline in viewership in its 2nd season and suffered a steep drop in its 3rd season opposite ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and CBS’s “Cold Case.” Its move to Wednesdays opposite ABC’s “Lost” juggernaut didn’t show any signs of improvement in the ratings department.

“It just becomes, unfortunately, the contradiction of America, I guess,” NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly says. “People say they want quality, family-friendly shows at 8:00 and yet you put them on and what they really want to watch is ‘Desperate Housewives.’ Ultimately, we are in a business here. We love the show… It just was not pulling the ratings to really justify the cost of the show or to justify another year on the schedule.”

Gail O’Grady, who played Pryor matriarch Helen, commented on the 10 minute alternate ending. “Let’s hope it happens. If Jonathan Prince is the show-runner that I’ve known him to be, he will not let go of this until there is closure”

It is possible for NBC to re-air the episode sometime this Summer or in the Fall, while many are calling for a “wrap-up” movie to be produced to adequately draw closure to the lives of the Pryor Family.

Among its many awards, “American Dreams” won several Emmy Awards in 2003, while TVLand named it a “Future Classic” at its annual awards show in 2003

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