Plug to be pulled on `Larry Sanders Show'

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The Independent Online
There was more bad news for fans of American sit-coms yesterday when Gary Shandling, star of The Larry Sanders Show, told America's TV Guide magazine that the current series of his satire on talk shows would be the last. His announcement follows the decision of Jerry Seinfeld to end his sit-com, Seinfeld, this March. Both shows have garnered a cult following as a double bill late on Tuesday nights on BBC 2.

Newly filmed episodes for The Larry Sanders Show, which will air in March in America, have Shandling growing increasingly paranoid that his guest host, Jon Stewart, will take over his role as the network's number-one chat show host.

In an interview with Time magazine yesterday Seinfeld explained why he decided to drop his show. It has been reported that he had been offered $5m (pounds 3m) per episode to keep the sit-com going.

"I felt the moment. That's the only way I can describe it," said Seinfeld. "I just know from being onstage for years and years, there's one moment where you have to feel the audience is still having a great time. And yet, if you wait a little bit longer and try to give them more for their money, they walk out feeling not as good. If I get off now I have a chance at a standing ovation." The final episode of Seinfeld will be aired in spring and be accompanied by a spoof documentary about the making of the show. However, Seinfeld dismissed rumours that the final show would see his character marry Elaine, the character played by Julia Louise-Dreyfus.

A BBC spokeswoman said it was sad both shows were going, but it would be years before their departures are seen by British audiences. "We are so far behind the Americans that we have a few years of each series left to show."