Cancelled in 1971 by CBS. The decision was a controversial one, since it was made at the end of the 1970-71 season and did not give Sullivan the opportunity to mount a farewell show after more than 20 years on the air. Sullivan would return for a few specials over the next year, however. The Canadian comedy duo of Johnny Wayne & Frank Shuster appeared on the show more often than any other act - nearly 80 appearances.
This show was canceled, due to Fred Silverman's infamous "Rural Purge" in 1971. Silverman thought that the show, along with other sitcoms, such as The Beverly Hillbillies (1962), Green Acres (1965) and Hogan's Heroes (1965) only appealed to people who lived in rural areas as well as older audiences, especially senior citizens.
Sullivan offered Burt Reynolds the chance to appear on the show. At the time, Reynolds was starring in Hawk (1966) of which Sullivan was a fan. But Reynolds felt that he was not well-known enough to appear on the show and turned Sullivan down. Reynolds stated that he greatly regretted turning down Sullivan's offer in The Very Best of the Ed Sullivan Show 2 (1991).