Monday, October 10, 2011

Schedule Five-Spot, WE 10/9/11, Bad News - Playboy Club, Free Agents, H8R, How to Be a Gentleman, Charlie's Angels

I wanted to bring back the full complement of weekly Five-Spots last week or a couple weeks ago. But there was very little scheduling news until last week, when it all flew in at once. So I'm kicking off a new season of Schedule Five-Spots with a double dose today. This is the "bad news" edition looking at the three cancellations, the one effective cancellation and the one probably upcoming cancellation. In about an hour, a "good news" edition goes up looking at the full seasons and renewals from last week.

The Playboy Club - The first cancellation of the new season came last Tuesday as NBC pulled new drama The Playboy Club, whose three episodes rated 1.6 -> 1.3 -> 1.2 in A18-49. Though it actually got off to a Truly better start than fellow low-rated NBC drama Prime Suspect, that advantage was erased by week two, and NBC seems to have more invested in the crime drama anyway. This show certainly got no help from its low-rated lead-in The Sing-Off.

Free Agents - New NBC comedy Free Agents lasted just a couple days longer than Playboy, and it also aired one more episode. Its 18-49 track: 2.1 -> 1.3 -> 1.0 -> 1.0. That performance is particularly anemic considering how much better its fellow Wednesday newbie Up All Night has done; its retention at 8:30 was below 50% the last couple weeks! I maintain it should've been pulled a week earlier (in part so I could have correctly guessed the first cancellation...).

H8R- This one actually kinda surprised me. Not that H8R was headed for a long life as a CW tentpole, but get this: it actually finished with a higher 18-49 average (0.50) than their last few new reality shows (remember Shedding for the Wedding (0.41), Plain Jane (0.41), Fly Girls (0.41) and High Society (0.36)? No?!). So what did it in so quickly? Anemic W18-34 (0.4 in its last airing) and a desire to give more exposure to faltering Ringer, perhaps?

How to Be a Gentleman - On Friday night came the ouster of CBS comedy How to Be a Gentleman. It technically isn't a cancellation as it's heading to Saturday at 8:00 (while Rules of Engagement takes over on Thursday). But it's effectively one, since the show halted production (it'll have just nine eps) and... well, it's heading to Saturday. Its two-week track on Thursday was 2.7 -> 2.5, but its huge The Big Bang Theory lead-in meant it had historically poor retention.

Charlie's Angels - The Angels managed to elude the cancellation axe for one more week despite their anemic 18-49 track to date: 2.1 -> 1.5 -> 1.2. Apparently episode four is a remake of an iconic episode of the original Angels and ABC wants to try it. But, even beyond the ratings, it's clear the end is near; ABC pulled its scheduled encore last Friday, and they've already skedded a Charlie Brown special in its timeslot on the opening night of November sweeps.

The Five-Spots are my recaps of what aired, what got renewed/cancelled and what rated well or poorly last week in TV. For more Five-Spots, see the Index.

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