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'America's Next Top Model' to end after 22 seasons

By Marilyn Malara
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'America's Next Top Model' to end after 22 seasons
Model Tyra Banks arrives at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party and salute to Antonio 'L.A.' Reid, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 9, 2013. The 'America's Next Top Model' host announced the show's 22nd season will be its last. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- America's Next Top Model, the competition show which introduced the term "smize" to the world and humanized the once-silent, stoic mannequins of runways and magazines, will not be returning to television after its 22nd season.

Host Tyra Banks broke the news her show is coming to an end on Twitter Wednesday, saying she believes "it's time."

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"TYRA MAIL!" the former supermodel wrote. "Thinking #ANTM22 should be our last cycle. I truly believe it's time. May your pics be forever fierce. Keep on Smizing!"

On Instagram, Banks elaborated on her many years as the show's host, describing the ways ANTM has changed the modeling world. "Our diehard fans know we've expanded the definition of beauty, presented what Flawsome is, tooched and booched and boom boom boomed," Banks wrote.

TYRA MAIL! Thinking #ANTM #cycle22 should be our last cycle. 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, shown the world how to show their neck, rocked couture/catalogue/commercial poses, have found our (and your) light, strutted countless runways, gone on tons of go-sees, added guys to the girls mix, and have traveled around the globe and back again. Yeah, it's time. It really is. Wow, I am SO proud of what Top Model has done. #ANTM brought the intimidating modeling 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! So many!!! And what rhymes with 22? You. And you and you and you and you! YOU made Top Model what it is. We are a global force that has so many international versions around the world because of YOU! That's amazing and beyond anything that I ever dreamed. I set out to create a show where Perfect is Boring. So I hope you continue to love your freckles, your moles, your big forehead, your big eyes, your small eyes, your pointy chin, your tiny boobs, your full chest, your ivory or ebony skin (or every color in between) - the stuff about you that makes you well...you. And I hope you've learned a heck of a lot from watching. I have an inkling you have. May your photos (and selfies) be forever fierce. May you always find your light. And may you werk hallways like runways. Always remember, you are beautiful & BOOTYful. And please, keep on Smizing each and every day for TyTy. Fierce & Love, 💛Tyra

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A photo posted by Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) on

"#ANTM brought the intimidating modeling 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!"

The announcement came to a shock for not only fans, but those participating in the competition's 22nd season. Contestants Ava Capra, Nyle DiMarco, Lacey Rogers and other shared their surprise on social media, expressing gratitude for being among the competition's last group of models.

"I am in a complete daze," wrote Rogers, 18. "The fact that I am a part of #cycle22 the last cycle of #ANTM, blows my mind. God handles timing perfectly."

"Cycle 22 = The Last Cycle?" DiMarco, 25, wrote. "My gang, let's end it with a BANG!"

The fashion-centric reality show first premiered in 2003 on UPN, featuring traditional tall, slender fashion models. Later, the influential program brought in shorter models, plus-size women and more recently, male models. ANTM made the jump from UPN to The CW in 2006 and was the first show to air on the new channel.

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"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," CW President Mark Pedowitz said in a statement to media outlets. "I want to thank Tyra and Ken [Mok] for all their years of success in establishing a show that was not just popular in the U.S., but all across the world."

The show's final episode and season finale will air on The CW Dec. 4. Entertainment Weekly reports the channel is negotiating a ANTM retrospective special which could air sometime in 2016.

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