Perhaps he should have focused on saving his own show. After stumbling out of the gate back in October and continuing to lose viewers throughout its freshman run, Sean Saves the World has been pulled off the air by NBC.
The half-hour comedy, which starred Sean Hayes as a gay single father struggling to balance his teenage daughter, domineering mother and professional career, never found the loyal audience that NBC was clearly expecting it to. The series premiere scored a very weak 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.4 million viewers total, and the story only got worse week after week. The latest episode averaged 0.7 in the adults 18-49 demographic and drew a series low audience of 2.6 million.
The show was set to run for 18 episodes after receiving a five-episode pickup earlier in the season, but NBC shut down production on the set after only 14 episodes of that order had been shot. The two episodes that have yet to air may be burned off at some point after NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the network chooses to bury them.
Sean Saves the World is the second NBC comedy to get the ax this season, after fellow newcomer Welcome to the Family bit it back in October. The Michael J. Fox Show has been averaging similarly disappointing ratings, though its situation wasn’t quite as dire as Sean Saves the World‘s, as that series has been noticeably jumping once DVR ratings are factored in.
If there’s a silver lining to this sad news, it may be that the cancellation of Sean Saves the World will increase the probability of renewals for popular, established comedies like Parks and Recreation, eying its seventh season, and Community, eying its long-coveted sixth. Additionally, The Michael J. Fox Show may end up with a pardon this time around, so that NBC has something to show for its latest crop of comedies.
With the cancellation of Sean Saves the World, all eyes will be on freshman comedies About a Boy and Growing Up Fisher, both of which NBC will heavily promote during its Olympics coverage. Of course, no one’s likely to forget how poorly Animal Practice fared after getting top billing during NBC’s coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics, but the network will have likely learned from its marketing snafus with that comedy (namely, interrupting the closing ceremonies to show a special sneak peek of the show).
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