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FX backs away from ‘Candidate’

Cable network FX has pulled out of the planned unscripted series “American Candidate,” in which 100 people would be recruited to campaign against one another for viewer votes in a bid to emerge as a rival to the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in 2004.

Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment for FX, said escalating production costs became too prohibitive for the network to continue.

“It was going to be one of the most expensive shows in the genre for a one-time event on a cable network,” he said Friday.

R.J. Cutler, one of the producers of the series, which he called “a cross between ‘The War Room’ and ‘American Idol,’ ” said that the series is moving forward toward a January 2004 launch, and that he would soon announce a new broadcasting partner.

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