Pierce: Two new shows axed, more will soon follow
This past Wednesday, "Animal Practice" drew 3.8 million viewers, finishing fourth in its time slot. "Arrow" drew 3.5 million viewers, finishing fifth.
NBC has already canceled "Animal Practice"; "Arrow" is a hit and a bright spot on The CW's schedule.
Clearly, expectations are different at the two networks.
Both shows are drawing far fewer viewers than "Made in Jersey," which CBS axed after just two episodes when viewership fell from a relatively weak 7.7 million in Week 1 to 5.8 million in Week 2 far fewer than either the show that preceded it or the show that followed it.
That's the way TV goes.
Here's a quick look at where the new network series stand:
ABC • The only show the Alphabet Network has canceled to date is "Private Practice," and the handwriting was on the wall for that when ABC ordered only 13 episodes for this, its sixth season. (All 13 episodes will air before the show leaves the schedule.)
But things are not looking good for the new shows ABC added this fall. Ratings for "666 Park Avenue" and "The Last Resort" have been frighteningly bad. The network has ordered two additional scripts for each show, but that's not the same as ordering more episodes. It's sort of a holding move and the weakest vote of confidence possible.
"Neighbors" (which got an order for three more scripts) and "Nashville" (the best-reviewed show this fall) are struggling mightily to attract viewers.
CBS • The network added only four new shows this fall. It has already canceled "Made In Jersey"; the numbers are not good for "Partners"; it has already issued full-season orders for "Elementary" and "Vegas."
NBC • "Guys With Kids" looks as if it may soon follow "Animal Practice" into cancellation, and things are pretty iffy for "Chicago Fire" as well.
Among returning shows, "Up All Night" is on life support at this point.
On the other hand, "Revolution" is the big surprise of the fall. It looks like a genuine hit and has already been picked up for a full season, along with comedies "Go On" and "The New Normal."
Fox • The big surprise here is that Fox hasn't canceled the laughably bad, abysmally rated "The Mob Doctor." It could happen at any minute.
It's also sort of weird that the network picked up "The Mindy Project" and "Ben and Kate" for full seasons, because the ratings haven't been good.
The CW • "Arrow" is what passes as a hit on this ratings-challenged network wannabe. It's totally safe.
Ratings are weak for "Emily Owens, M.D." and "Beauty and the Beast," but The CW has a history of hanging on to shows because it doesn't have anything better to put on. And it has ordered three additional scripts for each series.
Scott D. Pierce coves television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.