This fall has seen some dramas start strongly and some falter right off the bat. Despite a fanciful premise, a strong cast and a timeslot airing after the successful NBC series The Blacklist, newcomer drama The Player hasn’t captured the audience that NBC was doubtless expecting. After a few weeks of less-than-stellar numbers, the network has made a big decision related to the drama. On Friday, the network announced that The Player will not be getting its back nine order. In addition, fans won’t even get the 13 episodes initially promised by the network. Instead, fans will only get nine episodes of The Player.
The news is especially bad for fans who have been keeping tabs on the Vegas-set drama. So far, five episodes of The Player have already aired, which means the show now only has four episodes left during Season 1 to wrap up its storyline. Deadline reports that the series is, in fact, in the middle of producing its ninth episode and production on The Player will wrap as soon as the episode is finished.
I’m actually a little surprised that NBC didn’t just straight up decide to cancel The Player. This season, the networks have been a little slower to cancel brand new dramas and comedies that aren’t up to snuff, although The Player isn’t the first show to see its episode order cut. Just a couple of weeks ago, Fox made the tough decision to cut the episode order for Minority Report from 13 episodes down to 10, after that show also saw lackluster ratings on Monday nights.
Still, while neither show has been officially cancelled, yet, choosing to trim the episode order of a series does not bode well for a second season for either show. It sucks because The Player has had a decent, male-skewing audience. More total viewers have been watching the drama, in fact, than the network’s 8 p.m. show Heroes Reborn. But while the Heroes reboot skews younger, The Player hasn’t been doing all that well with young audiences, and only managed to pull in a .8 rating last week. (Reborn has been averaging over a 1.0 rating each week, pulling in a 1.1 rating this week.)
The Player has a lot going for it in terms of cast. Wesley Snipes has a big role in the series, and Strike Back’s Philip Winchester and Charity Wakefield have an undeniable rapport that adds some glossiness to the heavily action-oriented plot each week. But the basic premise may have turned people off, as Winchester’s Alex Kane goes on wild missions that have been assigned to him by a group led by the wealthiest of wealthy gamblers each week. That and a tough Thursday night timeslot hasn’t really helped the drama to stand out from the pack.
The Player isn’t the only fall TV show that is faltering. You can take a look at what shows are doing poorly in the ratings with our full list of shows that are in danger of being cancelled. In addition, you can also check out what has yet to premiere this fall. And if you do want to stick with The Player, NBC still has plans to finish airing out the show on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. ET.