CBS has a problem on Tuesday nights at 10pm. Last season, the network aired Love Monkey with Tom Cavanagh (who previously starred in NBC’s Ed) in that spot. It lasted three episodes before being pulled off the schedule. They tried the quasi-reality show Tuesday Night Book Club but that only lasted two episodes. Close to Home also performed badly in the timeslot but was moved to Friday nights and survived. CBS started the current season with the Smith series. Though many felt it was one of the best new shows on television, Smith was yanked off the air after only three episodes. To fill the hole left by the Ray Liotta series, CBS inserted the midseason replacement show 3 lbs to take its place. And now, guess what?
3 lbs. (which incidentally refers to the weight of the human brain) debuted on Tuesday, November 14, 2006. Billed as “the next great medical drama,” the show followed the medical careers of the difficult brain surgeon Douglas Hanson (played by Stanley Tucci) and his protege surgeon Jonathan Seger, played by Mark Feurstein. Also part of the gifted medical team is calculating neurologist Dr. Adrianne Holland (Indria Varma) and intern Dr. Tom Flores (Armando Riesco).
By airing this show on Tuesday nights, one might guess that CBS execs were hoping people who watched the very popular House on FOX at 9pm, would then turn to CBS to watch 3 lbs at 10pm. That didn’t happen.
The first episode of this House-like show debuted to 9.8 million viewers. The ratings have been dropping ever since. The second episode was watched by 9.2 million and the third episode was watched by 7.9 million viewers — prompting CBS to pull the doctor series immediately. The special 9pm episode of 3 lbs. that was scheduled for December 5th (entitled “Disarming”), has been replaced by an episode of The Unit. Repeats of CBS crime dramas will take the 10pm timeslot for the foreseeable future after that.
Eight episodes of the series have been filmed thus far, leaving five episodes unaired. Though CBS has not called this a cancellation, no further episodes will be produced and its highly unlikely that 3 lbs. will be given another primetime timeslot. Because of the public outcry, CBS has released all episodes of Smith on its website, for download via Amazon.com, and the show will possibly be released on DVD. It looks unlikely that 3 Lbs. will receive the same treatment.