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[12/15/03 - 12:00 AM]
No Joke: Kutcher Ends 'Punk'D'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Ashton Kutcher is hanging up his trucker cap.

The actor announced on Friday he's pulling the plug on his popular MTV series "Punk'd." Sunday's broadcast marked the show's final episode despite MTV's previously announced commitment to a third season (read the story).

"We have had an incredible time doing the show and have decided to stick with the old adage of 'leave 'em wanting more,"' Kutcher said in a joint statement with co-producer Jason Goldberg. MTV reps described the news as "something that came out of the blue."

The series has been a ratings watershed for the network, averaging more than 2.8 million viewers during its second season. More importantly, the show is one of highest-rated originals among its MTV's target demographic of persons 12-34 this year.

Nevertheless, both the network and Kutcher have expressed interest in working together on future projects. Repeats of "Punk'd" will continue on the network's schedule for the time being and a DVD of the show's first season is set to be released next month.

The death of "Punk'd" won't affect the future of MTV's "Sunday Stew." Both "Wildboyz" and "Viva La Bam" are set to return with new seasons in March. "One Bad Trip" however is not expected to return.





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· ONE BAD TRIP (MTV)
· PUNK'D (BET)
· VIVA LA BAM (MTV)
· WILDBOYZ (MTV2)





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