OnMedia: The seasonal ax falls again at NBC
NBC has cancelled its second new show of the new fall season, Hank Azaria's "Free Agents," which has been airing at 7:30 on the Wednesday lineup – competing against ABC's already strong night of sitcoms.
It's not a surprise, since the ratings were poor. "Free Agents" didn't even have the benefit of the hype that surrounded "The Playboy Club," NBC's first cancellation this week.
In a classy move, Azaria offered this tweet on Thursday, after word of his show's demise came out:
"Thanks to NBC for giving us a shot, thanks to all who watched Free Agents, and thanks to all who worked on the show- we had so much fun!!"
Azaria's a talented guy, but I think he's more of a supporting character than a sitcom lead.
If you didn't get a chance to see the show, based on a British TV comedy, here's a sample:
These two NBC shows aren't the only cancellations coming, of course.
In fact, word came late Thursdau that the CW Network's "H8R," which brings stars together with people who dislike them, has been pulled from the schedule.
It may depend on last night's numbers, but CBS' oddly anachronistic "How to Be a Gentlemen" isn't likely to survive.
ABC's "Pan Am" isn't completely tanking, but I don't see it surviving an entire season. Also troubled is NBC's "Prime Suspect."
NBC has given early pickups to two shows that it's betting on, the not-so-funny "Whitney," and "Up All Night," the Will Arnett-Christina Applegate-Maya Rudolph comedy that has potential.
Despite having the first two flops of the season, NBC – still rebuilding from the prime-time Jay Leno debacle – is investing in the development of two new shows.
On radio: The summer numbers from Arbitron in the key 25-54 age group shows Brewers-powered WMTJ-AM (620) leading the pack, followed by WMIL-FM (106.1), WRIT-FM (95.7), WXSS-FM (103.7), and WHQG-FM (102.9).
- Two years after he launched his daily podcast following his firing by WTMJ-AM, Phil Cianciola is starting a regular afternoon radio gig next week at Appleton's WHBY-AM (1150). His podcast, which posts its final episode on Monday, has been hosted here at OnMilwaukee.com.
- WLDB-FM (93.3) morning hosts Jane Matenaer and CV (Carol Vonn) are in the middle of hosting their annual "Call to Care Radiothon," which continues until 7 tonight. The radiothon helps out ABCD (After Breast Cancer Diagnosis).
- Gary E. Knell, long-time boss of Sesame Workshop, is the new president and CEO of National Public Radio.
So long, Steve: Obviously, you're aware of the passing of Steve Jobs this week. I did my version of a farewell in August when he stepped down as CEO of Apple, but here's one more goodbye, an unaired 1997 Apple spot with his narration:
NBC has doomed Prime Suspect by positioning it against Castle on Monday, and repeating against The Mentalist on Thursday.
I gave Whitney a chance and it's now firmly on my list of shows to watch. I rather enjoy it, though I wouldn't miss it terribly if it wasn't there.
Agreed, Tim. I re-read your August tribute to Steve Jobs and, speaking as someone who has never owned an Apple product, his impact on technology in general is undeniable. I felt great sorrow when I read that he had passed. He truly changed the world and did so in classy fashion. Today more than ever we will need innovators like him. Let's hope someone steps up to the plate.
It's hard to believe that Whitney is being picked up. The show is unwatchable.
The PhilCast Family is overjoyed for Phil and WILL follow him, either over the air, or on WHBY's live "Listen Now" website. =Mark in Whitewater
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