Poor ratings doom High Point-inspired sitcom

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May 24—HIGH POINT — It seems that "Bless the Harts" was cursed by poor ratings, a fate that rarely bodes well in the numbers-driven world of television.

The once-highly anticipated Fox sitcom that was loosely based on High Point — and created by a former High Pointer — will not return for a third season. Fox canceled the show last month after a precipitous ratings drop — including a 51-percent decline in viewership — from season one to season two.

The final episode will air June 20, according to wire reports. Episodes also can be streamed online on the Hulu website.

"Bless the Harts," which debuted in the fall of 2019, is creator and writer Emily Spivey's ode to the city she grew up in.

"I have always wanted to do a sitcom about my hometown of High Point, kind of in the spirit of Andy Griffith," the former "Saturday Night Live" writer and Emmy Award-winner told The High Point Enterprise in September 2019, before the show's premiere. "This is something I've wanted to do for a long, long time."

The show takes place in the fictional town of Greenpoint, a thinly veiled amalgam of High Point and Greensboro, two cities near and dear to Spivey's heart. She graduated from High Point's T. Wingate Andrews High School in 1989 and from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1993.

Throughout the show's two-year run, episodes have routinely featured topics familiar to High Pointers, from the 311 Bypass to an abandoned mall to the community's seeming worship of barbecue. Season one even included a Halloween episode with references to Lydia's bridge, the Jamestown underpass that's rumored to be haunted by a phantom hitchhiker.

Other episodes spoofed more universal themes common in the South, from beach music, Black Friday and Southerners' reaction to snow, to cornhole, hot tubs and a controversial statue.

In keeping with the show's ties to High Point, Spivey even hired a writer from her hometown, Erin Wagoner, to write for "Bless the Harts."

Theoretically, the show could be picked up by another network, but fans will have to stay tuned to see if that happens.

jtomlin@hpenews.com — 336-888-3579

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