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There’s more bad news coming from NBC, though, much like The Playboy Club’s cancellation, this one isn’t likely to come as a huge surprise. NBC has apparently decided to cancel Free Agents due to poor ratings.
Deadline posted the news, stating that after earning 3.3 million viewers last night, which wasn’t much (if at all) of an improvement on last week’s ratings, NBC has decided to cancel the show.
Based on a British series, Free Agents starred Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn as two semi-recently single adults who work together and began a tentative interoffice relationship with one another. Anthony Head was reprising his role from the U.K. version, playing their boss. The pilot was decent enough and showed promise, had the series been given enough time to find its rhythm, but with the ratings as low as they were, it’s not surprising that NBC is pulling the plug.
Deadline says there’s no word on what will air on Wednesdays at 8:30, however there’s a good chance Whitney reruns will air there, which sounds like an attempt on NBC’s part to boost interest/awareness in the new Thursday night comedy, which was given a green-light for a full season earlier this week. Considering Whitney’s ratings slipped from 6.84 million to 5.4 between its first week and its second, inching it closer to the numbers Free Agents was showing, it’s probably a good plan to try to get more attention to it where they can.
I think the show's failure is a combination of the comedy taking too long to find its stride, added to being set up on the wrong night, and paired with the wrong show. Given Free Agents’ potential, I would have liked to have seen NBC move the comedy to Thursday nights to see if the Office lead-in would’ve helped the show, especially considering that, like The Office (and unlike Whitney), Free Agents was partially a work-place comedy, and also a single-camera comedy, which might have made it a better fit there, as opposed to next to Up All Night.