It seems that even Betty White couldn’t make it through NBC’s widespread comedy cancellations this season. The comedic darling has hosted Betty White’s Off Their Rockers for the last two seasons on the Peacock network, but word broke on Thursday that the show will not be returning to the air for a third season.
The Betty White hosted program was big on pranks and sight gags. It also featured a few goofy pre-taped segments filled with some of White’s signature brand of humor. I generally found the short scripted segments to be a bit of a drag, but I was fond of some of the street humor, which featured a group of bold and outrageous seniors who joined the general public to see if they could could puzzle, bemuse and trick others, all for camera laughs. Plus, any show that manages to make use of "Gangnam Style" is alright with me.
The news comes as a little bit of a surprise; even though the second season did worse than the first, Off Their Rockers was not among some of NBC’s lowest rated programs. TV Line first reported the cancellation, noting that Off Their Rockers brought in 12 million total viewers for its premiere in 2012, but by Season 2 was only averaging 5.3 million viewers. In comparison, two of NBC’s renewed programs, Parks and Recreation and Community did only 2.99 million viewers and 5 million viewers in their recent season finales, respectively. Off Their Rockers was doing better than both of those shows, but it still won't be back.
Sans those aforementioned shows, NBC made a pretty clean sweep with its comedies this season, cutting shows from Whitney to Go On to The New Normal from next year’s lineup. Either because White got busy with other projects (including Hot in Cleveland) or NBC just decided to start with a pretty clean slate next season, the show will not go on.
Betty White’s an avid tweeter and the last time she took to the social networking site was immediately prior to Off Their Rockers' Season 2 finale this week. During that time, the woman was full of excitement about the episode and there was no mention that the tide might be turning for the show.
The host and comedian hasn’t tweeted since, but her lack of notice does make me think this one came from left field from NBC. As TV Line also noted, NBC picked up a game show called Wall of Fame today that may conveniently fit into Off Their Rockers’ slot.