This morning, we learned that NBC has cut back on the episode order for About a Boy, a second season comedy that stars Minnie Driver and David Walton and is based on the 2002 movie of the same name. NBC has trimmed About A Boy’s episode order down from 22 to 20. That’s certainly not the same thing as outright canceling the series, but it is definitely a shot at the network’s confidence in the comedy.
The biggest problem—as is frequently a problem for NBC—is the show’s ratings. Last year, About A Boy was given the cushiest of all cushy slots, tucked into the schedule just after The Voice on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. This year, the show has aired after NBC’s sitcom Marry Me, which hasn’t exactly helped as a lead-in. Last year, the series premiered with 8.26 million total viewers. This year, the show’s premiere brought in only 5.83 million total viewers, and the numbers have continued dropping from there. The most recent episode, for instance, only nabbed 3.68 million total viewers.
NBC has had a pretty tough time finding comedies that stick over the last several years. Last year saw a slew of cancelations with Sean Saves The Day, The Michael J. Fox Show, Community and more. About A Boy made it through that weak season of comedy, but now the numbers aren’t looking so hot.
Honestly, the state of comedy is pretty dire over at the network at this point. This year, NBC already canceled A to Z and Bad Judge, leaving About A Boy, Marry Me and Parks and Recreation as the only midseason comedies that are part of NBC’s schedule. (In case you were wondering Undateable and One Big Happy will premiere later this spring.) In fact, this year marks the year that NBC gave up and officially dropped comedy from its Thursday night lineup.
This could be really bad news for About A Boy. Then again, Deadline notes that Marry Me was only picked up for an 18-episode order, so NBC might be trimming the orders down to have both shows end at roughly the same time, leaving room for Undateable and One Big Happy on Tuesday nights in March. While that feels a little less alarming than an outright cancelation, it’s not exactly good news. Instead NBC might simply be cutting down on episode orders now and then canceling About A Boy come spring. The only truly good news for About A Boy? After Parks and Recreation ends this February, About A Boy is the most veteran comedy the network will have in its lineup. Go ahead, mull over that for a while.
If you want About A Boy and Marry Me to stick around for a little longer, you can tune in to NBC on Tuesday evenings. Marry Me airs at 9 p.m. ET and About A Boy hits the schedule at 9:30 p.m. ET.