After an unusually long grace period this fall, the shiny broadcast ax has been taken out of the woodshed and finally used in earnest. ABC’s Manhattan Love Story holds the unfortunate distinction of being the first canceled show of the season, having been handed a pink slip last week, but today finds NBC’s low-rated comedy freshmen A to Z and Bad Judge joining it in the television graveyard.
Neither show will be given a back-nine order, though both will be permitted to finish out the rest of their 13-episode seasons, perhaps so that showrunners have a chance to wrap things up nicely. A to Z was a modern romantic comedy that intended to follow one relationship (between Mad Men‘s Ben Feldman and How I Met Your Mother‘s Cristin Milioti) from start to finish. Bad Judge, meanwhile, starred Kate Walsh as a hard-working, hard-partying judge who lays down the law while on the clock and plays by her own rules the rest of the time.
The cancellations are hardly surprising – both series started out small and dropped viewers week after week while facing tough competition in their Thursday 9 p.m. slot from ABC’s Scandal and CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. A to Z started out with 4.8 million viewers, but its most recent episode only drew around 2.5 million (and, even worse, a .7 rating in the key adults 18-to-49 demo). Bad Judge was slightly better with 5.9 million total viewers and a 1.2 among 18-to-49 in its premiere, but the most recent episode dropped to 4 million total and a .9 rating in the demo.
Of course, there’s still a tiny glint of hope for the two series – both had only aired five episodes before getting canceled, and if the remaining eight installments of either garners significant ratings gains, that might be enough to get NBC to reconsider their futures.
Tell us, are you disappointed to see A to Z or Bad Judge land on the chopping block?