How Close Is NBC to Canceling Its Ratings-Challenged New Shows?

Sep 30, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Speculation has already begun that low-rated new series "The Playboy Club" and "Free Agents" will soon be canceled by NBC, but NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt wants to give the shows more time, reports Deadline.com.

This isn’t the usual strategy for broadcast networks. Last season Fox’s "Lone Star" and ABC’s "My Generation" were scrapped after just two episodes each, the piece points out. In those cases, the shows drew a 1.0 and a 1.1 rating, respectively, in the 18-49 demo before they were canceled. This week NBC’s "Free Agents" drew a 1.0 and "The Playboy Club" had a 1.3, the story adds.

"Word is that Greenblatt wants to send a message to the creative community that he will give their shows on NBC every possible chance to succeed," the story says.

"But since viewers are still sampling shows and tweaking their viewing patterns for the new season, NBC is willing to wait for that process to settle before sacking the biggest underachievers," the article adds.

NBC’s new show "Prime Suspect" is also at risk of cancellation, the story points out.

Another factor may also be at work here. TVWeek remembers asking a top Fox braodcasting executive some years ago why the network was hanging on to some very low-rated shows. His reply, "Well, we really don’t have anything ready to replace them with in the pipeline that we’re sure would do better."


  1. Maybe they can resurrect a talk-show strip at 10 p.m. Eastern

  2. Can’t comment on The Playboy Club…other than I watched about 5 minutes of it and lost all interest. But Free Agents is far from the worst sitcom I’ve seen (that would be Running Wilde) and Prime Suspect is IMO the best new drama this season. Give them time to find an audience. Maybe moving PS to a night with less competition…like Wednesday…might give it a better sampling.

  3. “Playboy Club” looks like the sort of show that could carve out a strong niche on either a Friday or Saturday night on NBC. CBS has too many strong shows to compete with let alone whatever is on cable. Could “Playboy Club” be moved to USA?

  4. Playboy Club was refreshingly different from what most people suppose, but not enough to compete with over 50 shows my DVR records weekly. However Free Agents is up very high on my sitcom list. There are two baby related sitcoms I am not a fan of, though I like the two stars on Up All Night. Playboy Club should go to Friday or Saturday. I don’t know who the competition is for Free Agents, but way too many sitcoms got cancelled last year. The only good thing about Reality Shows is that it limits the number of quality shows that I get addicted to… I never go to movies any longer. No wonder major movie stars are moving to TV.

  5. I like what I caught, how about Sunday nights for desperate husbands.

  6. Playboy Club is awful. Free Agents has to be the worst comedy on television. Whoever thinks that show is funny doesn’t know funny. One laugh in the pilot episode at the beginning and one laugh at the end. I don’t know who green-lit this junk but this show shouldn’t even have been removed from the board for a go. Up All Night is not funny either. Another show that begs the question “who green-lit this mess.” Prime Suspect is solid but quite frankly there is too much solid content on television. Without question this is the best season for new content in a long time. And Prime Suspect is suspect because it’s hard to keep up with the new dramas on television this season. But one the network should keep. With the ADD of viewers, no way will they “find” all of this new content. But Stevie Wonder can see that both comedies mentioned are awful. NBC needs to bring in more Whitney Cummings type comics to their schedule. Whitney, the show is great. New Girl is fantastic. But don’t waste airtime on comedies that just don’t work. Free Agents and Up All Night clearly don’t work.

  7. need to cancel whitney shows horrible

  8. You think ‘Whitney’ is funny, and you’re attacking other people for not knowing what funny is?
    Whitney is not as good as NBC was hoping it would be.

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