NBC Cancels “Free Agents” and “Playboy Club”
Just a few weeks into the new season, NBC has canceled two shows that actually started off well. First, “The Playboy Club” started off strong with a good deal of hype, but quickly slipped in the ratings leading NBC to cut it a few days ago. After the premiere episode of “Free Agents” last month, ratings quickly dropped to an average of 3.3 million viewers per episode. Before the season started, star Hank Azaria was cautious, but optimistic about getting at least half a season before NBC made a decision on the show’s future,
“I’m pretty sure we’ll do 13 of these at least. Although you really never do know. I mean, the two network shows I’ve had in the past have been yanked after airing two or four [episodes] or something. So there’s always that Sword of Damocles over your head. One of the reasons I came to do this show on NBC was Bob Greenblatt, who was at Showtime when I did Huff, and I really have a lot of faith in him and liked very much working for him. I think he’s pretty committed to letting this show breathe and find an audience if it needs to and get its sea legs before he does anything drastic. You know, famous last words. But what I have learned after 25 years of doing this is you can only really control two things: How much you enjoy what you’re doing and the quality of the shows you put out. And everything beyond that, you might as well not worry about it [laughs] because you really can’t affect it.”
For Hank Azaria’s sake, hopefully this isn’t a hint of things to come with the news that The Simpsons might be canceled by Fox. Until a permanent replacement is named, reruns of the new NBC comedy “Whitney” (which is only on its third episode as of this week) will air in place of “Free Agents”.
Speaking of “Whitney”, this looks to be a promising season for comedian Whitney Cummings. She stars in “Whitney” on NBC and is Executive Producer for “2 Broke Girls” on CBS, with both shows starting the season with low expectations but already being picked up for a full season run.