Edwards’ reality show ends its run on A&E

After three weeks and a dwindling viewership, the fairy tale appears to be over for former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ reality show.

A&E announced Monday that “The Governor’s Wife” has aired in its entirety.

The network yanked the show from its Sunday night time slot this past weekend after it continued to lose tens of thousands of viewers. Episodes chronicling the former governor’s release from parole and the birth of his son Eli aired in a block of back-to-back shows on Sunday morning.

“We believe in the show and appreciate all of the hard work that went into the series from the producers, and the time and access the family provided,” Laurén Bienvenue, senior manager of publicity for A&E, said Monday.

Edwards’ wife, Trina, and the show’s creator, Shaun Sanghani, said “The Governor’s Wife” still could have a future chronicling the former governor’s post-prison life with his 60-something daughters, decades-younger wife, stepsons and newborn baby. They declined to elaborate.

Possibilities include “The Governor’s Wife” migrating to a network with a bigger audience of women. Reruns of the show aired on Lifetime.

“We made a time change for now, but you never can tell where we will end up,” Trina Edwards said by email.

Edwin Edwards, a four-term governor, met his third wife while he was serving time in federal prison for racketeering. The story goes that she read a book about him and soon became his pen pal. They married after his release from prison and settled in Gonzales with her two sons from a prior marriage. Earlier this year, they welcomed a son of their own and unveiled their reality TV show.

“The Governor’s Wife” debuted in October as part of A&E’s stable of reality television programs that includes the Louisiana-based “Duck Dynasty.” “Duck Dynasty” is a cable-television ratings powerhouse, attracting 11.8 million viewers to its season opener earlier this year. Broadcast television brings in a lot more viewers than cable; for instance, “NCIS,” a crime show on CBS, attracted 19.3 million viewers.

“The Governor’s Wife” drew 1.248 million viewers when it debuted in late October. A week later, viewership was down to 1 million, finishing 43rd and behind other reality offerings like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

Early episodes showcased friction between Edwards’ daughter Victoria and his much younger wife. Husband and wife bickered about the electricity bill. The couple started the medical journey toward welcoming a son with the help of 20-year-old frozen sperm.

The reviews often were far from kind. A sample:

Variety: “Creepy on almost every level.”

Hollywood Reporter: “While Louisianians might feel compelled to tune in just to see what’s been going on with Edwards, A&E might want to start looking for their return receipt for this Louisiana purchase.”

The New York Times: “The show is hardly a bid for political rehabilitation by Mr. Edwards.”

The final episodes of the season featured quarreling between Trina Edwards and her stepdaughter, Victoria, the gender reveal on the former governor’s fifth child and the August arrival of Eli Wallace Edwards. Trina Edwards endured a difficult pregnancy before welcoming her third son in an early delivery.

A&E said it will try to find other opportunities for the series.

Trina Edwards told Facebook followers over the weekend that she has a positive outlook.

“Great and exciting things are happening for us!!” she wrote.