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Tyra Banks

Is the end of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ nigh?

Tyra Banks announces that ‘ANTM’ will not be returning for another season but urges the show’s fans to ‘keep smizing’

After 12 years, 22 seasons and countless tears, tantrums and transformations, reality TV program “America’s Next Top Model” may finally be over. Tyra Banks – the show’s infamous creator and presenter – made the announcement on Twitter saying, “Thinking #ANTM22 should be our last cycle,” Banks wrote. “I truly believe it’s time. May your pics be forever fierce. Keep on smizing!”

First airing in 2003, the show sees aspiring models compete for the much-coveted title of “America’s Next Top Model”. Supermodel Twiggy and Janice Dickinson are former judges, along with American Vogue’s contributing editor André Leon Talley, blogger Bryan Boy and male model Rob Evans. The program has become something of an institution.

“‘America’s Next Top Model’ was a successful franchise for two networks, first at UPN and then The CW, and it became not just a ratings hit, but a global pop culture phenomenon,” said Mark Pedowitz, the president of CW, the network that airs the show. “I want to thank Tyra and Ken for all their years of success in establishing a show that was not just popular in the U.S., but all across the world.”

While Tyra wasn’t clear why the show was ending, some believe it’s because the network is transitioning to a slightly older demographic. That said, ratings have been dropping. While the first eight seasons were watched by over five million people, the current series is watched by a mere 1.25 million. The cycle – and show – finale will air on December 4 in the US, during which the top model will be announced. 

Banks followed up her Twitter announcement with a heartfelt Instagram post, saying: “Yeah, I truly believe it's time. Our diehard fans know we've expanded the definition of beauty, presented what Flawsome is, tooched and booched and boom boom boomed...”

“#ANTM brought the intimidating modelling world to the masses. We were the first reality show based in the fashion world. I never thought my little idea would have people everywhere thinking differently about how they take photos. And I never thought we'd do 22 cycles. Whoa!”

“And please,” she finished, “Keep on smizing each and every day for TyTy.”