Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh has encountered lots of scary killers and tough cases in her work in the Boston Medical Examiner’s Office. Played by Jill Hennessy, Jordan is sexy, smart and fearless but, is she any match for her the biggest challenge yet?
Crossing Jordan debuted on September 24, 2001 on NBC. The title of the show plays off the lead character’s name and also alludes to the biblical story of the Hebrews crossing the Jordan River (often used as a metaphor for passing from this world to the after-life). The series initially involved Jordan and her father (Ken Howard) role-playing various murder case scenarios, allowing Jordan to figure out the crime’s circumstances. As the show progressed, the series has evolved into focusing more on its ensemble cast and their various cases. The current sixth season cast includes such diverse actors as Miguel Ferrer, Ravi Kapoor, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Valentine, Ravi Kapoor, Steve Valentine, Leslie Bibb, and Jerry O’Connell.
Jordan has been airing on Sunday nights since its midseason return on January 21, 2007. The show has been pretty consistently finishing in third place on Sunday nights. More importantly, it’s been attracting a low percentage of 18-19 year old viewers, the most desirable demographic of people for advertisers. Quite honestly, those are the numbers that networks care about the most.
NBC has now announced that its reshuffling its Wednesday and Sunday night schedules beginning March 4th. Deal or No Deal is moving to Sundays to take the 9pm slot while the sixth season of The Apprentice will shift to the less competitive 10pm timeslot. This move will create an “all reality show” night for NBC. Crossing Jordan in turn is moving to Wednesday nights (starting March 7th at 9pm) where it will be surrounded by fellow dramas Friday Night Lights and Medium.
That would sound like a good plan except that Crossing Jordan will now be up against the incredibly popular American Idol on FOX and Criminal Minds on CBS — a combination that previously scared ABC enough to move Lost. Deal or No Deal was doing pretty well as counter programming on Wednesday nights, giving viewers an alternative to the other networks who served up drama (CBS), comedy (ABC), and reality (FOX) programming.
Criminal Minds is consistently far more popular than Crossing Jordan and that’s not likely to change. Does NBC honestly expect this move to help Crossing Jordan or has the peacock network already given up on the series? Are they just burning off the episodes? Even before season six began, insiders suspected that this would be Crossing Jordan’s last. With most viewers (especially those 18-49) watching American Idol, is there any hope Crossing Jordan can survive? Not very likely. Unfortunately for fans, this may be one case that even Jordan Cavanaugh can’t win. Stay tuned!