by Jim McFarlin
Laurie Goldberg, spokeswoman for TLC, the network that provides America with such informative programming as Toddlers & Tiaras, DC Cupcakes and My Crazy Obsession, confirmed March 7 that the show's eight-episode run, which ended in January, would be its last.
All-American Muslim, which followed the lives of five diverse Muslim-American families in Dearborn, including the family of a Wayne County Sheriff's deputy and a prospective nightclub owner, was embroiled in controversy for much of its brief existence. One memorable episode focused on the conflicted emotions the participants felt over marking anniversaries of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
A conservative watchdog group called the Florida Family Association led the call for an advertiser boycott of the series, claiming the non-threatening nature of the show was softening America's vigilance against the threat of jihad. Although many advertisers pulled their support of the series, the retail giant Lowe's took the brunt of national criticism and consumer boycotts. Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, who, with numerous celebrities as well as Christian and Muslim groups rallied in support of the program, offered to buy up the commercial time that Lowe's had abandoned.
Ultimately, however, it was ratings that killed All-American Muslim. Despite the attention-getting controversy surrounding it, the series opened to nearly 1.7 million viewers in its premiere episode but had lost half that audience – about 900,000 viewers – by its first-season finale.