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Mike Rowe says Facebook is canceling his beloved 'Returning the Favor' web TV program despite its popularity
Image source: Facebook video screenshot via Mike Rowe

Mike Rowe says Facebook is canceling his beloved 'Returning the Favor' web TV program despite its popularity

'Obviously, I was surprised'

TV show host Mike Rowe said Wednesday that his beloved web TV program, "Returning the Favor" — a Facebook Watch series that features Rowe traveling across America "in search of remarkable people making a difference in their communities" — is being canceled.

What are the details?

"I received a phone call yesterday from Facebook, telling me that ['Returning the Favor'] would not be back for another season," Rowe wrote to his Facebook followers. "Obviously, I was surprised. 'Returning the Favor' has been a very successful endeavor, and the feedback from everyone has been extraordinarily good – from the first favor returned, to the 100th. In fact, it's the only program I ever worked on [that] never received a single, negative review, or one critical comment. In that way, it was truly unexampled."

Image source: Facebook video screenshot via Mike Rowe

The hook of the show is that while Rowe profiles individuals for the cameras, other people work behind the scenes to do something generous for these people, who often could use a financial hand or a revamp of a store or extra supplies to help them keep going. And by the end of each episode, the reveal takes place, always with tears and laughter.

Image source: Facebook video screenshot via Mike Rowe

Rowe added, "Last week, I saw a short marketing video for the upcoming season. Obviously, that video is no longer relevant, but I wanted to share it with you anyway, because it speaks to how unique this show was, and shows just how many people it touched. More importantly, it reinforces the undeniable fact that 'Returning the Favor' simply couldn't have happened without the people on this page. Give it a look, and as you watch, please remember that you made it possible."

What gives?

Facebook on Wednesday didn't immediately reply to TheBlaze regarding why "Returning the Favor" was being canceled.

But Rowe seemed quite grateful for the social media giant's involvement, as he thanked Facebook "for their support over the last four seasons. No network would have given me this much latitude to make such an honest show, or invested so generously in a 22-minute online program. With their help, we gave away over 5 million dollars to people trying to make their communities a better place."

How are folks reacting?

Rowes' Facebook followers are chiming in with disappointment and bewilderment that the Facebook Watch show is going away:

  • "Bad (again) on Facebook," one commenter wrote. "'Returning the Favor' is a wonderful show, helping us to remember there is hope and goodness no mater what is going on in the world. I sincerely hope it is picked up elsewhere. Meanwhile, that just means LESS time I spend on facebook. Keep up the good work Mike and company."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear this," another user said. "Please know I've always been a fan of yours and always will be. You bring good to the world, and that is something we all desperately need right now. God bless!"
  • "I loved this show! Did they give a reason why?" another commenter asked. "God forbid we have a show that promotes positivity and shows the good in mankind; instead Facebook has chosen to censor folks and focus on division and negativity....oh well, hopeful another network picks up this most amazing showcase of humanity at it's best!"
  • "This show was 'All American.' It celebrated the salt of the earth. The good people of America doing great things on a daily basis that all too often went unnoticed by most of us," another commenter said. "The reason being that they weren't doing these things to be noticed, but because they saw a need in their community and endeavored to meet it. Who knows how many were inspired to do likewise. Thank you Mike Rowe! Keep up your good work!"

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@DaveVUrbanski →