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Today is a big but mostly bad day for fans of NBC’s programming. Community has reportedly already failed to reach its goal of six seasons and a movie and now it seems there is more bad news on the NBC front. Word on the street is that Revolution and newcomer dramas Believe and Crisis have all been flushed out of the NBC lineup. (Good news for Hannibal fans though!)
I’d like to say that these cancellations are surprising, but NBC has been dealing with a paltry lineup for some time and the aforementioned dramas really weren’t helping to improve things. Take Revolution for example. While the seasoned drama did well during its first season and had a J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke pedigree to boot, the show faltered in the ratings toward the end of Season 1 and was close to a failure this season—especially considering the sci fi drama’s expensive budget. It honestly seemed clear that the show would not get a third season when the headlines for the Season 2 premiere made it clear that the ratings were way down from the show's initial outing. While those ratings eventually steadied, Revolution became a shadow of its former glory, and justifiably earned the axe.
Like Revolution, Crisis and Believe were also underperformers, though they both got the short end of the stick. Both were midseason replacement dramas, with Believe hitting the schedule in March and Crisis following shortly thereafter. Midseason premieres don’t always doom new shows, but it’s a much tougher timeslot for numerous reasons. The first is that it shows the network doesn’t have as much faith in the series and the second is that viewership across all networks is typically down during the spring. So, while it’s possible for shows to be hits in the spring, it certainly isn’t easy.
Deadline got the initial scoop on the cancelations, noting that another problem that Believe and Crisis faced was a challenging timeslot. The two shows currently air on Sunday nights, where they face serious competition from HBO’s Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley, as well as interesting network programming that includes CBS’ The Amazing Race and The Mentalist and ABC’s Resurrection and Revenge. Plus, cable has Mad Men and more. It’s challenging to carve out a niche on Sunday nights, and NBC’s lineup didn’t really stand much of a chance.
Even when cancelations aren’t surprising, they are still hurtful for the numerous viewers who have stuck around for the tenure of a show. So, to those viewers, we would like to say sorry for your loss and hope for a more fruitful 2014- 2015 season.