Crossing Jordan: Is the NBC Drama Done?

Crossing Jordan castDr. 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! TV Series Finale home page

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50 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Jan says

    What’s up with Kathryn disappearing off the show so abruptly? If you need a grief counselor, then you need one. They haven’t even replaced her in the plot. Looks like this show is going down …

  2. Lynn says

    you talk about the rating and all that not being very good. Well if NBC would stop shuffling it around the way it does and actually have it air when is says it will, imean it was months after the season was supposed to premiere before it did then people would be able to find it and watch it and NBC would see Crossing Jordan has a very large fan base..

  3. Wendy says

    I really enjoy Crossing Jordan and will miss it if it’s canceled. My husband and I aren’t interested in all the reality shows that are taking over and I’ve talked to a lot of others that feel the same. It’s too bad that only the 18-19 year olds are the main target. I understand about advertising, but no one even mentions our age group. At 58 we are part of the huge group of baby boomers. Who do you think is home more to watch TV, the 18-19 year olds or older people? I suspect the younger group goes out more to the movies. Please don’t cancel Jordan.

  4. Sunshine says

    I just read an article that said Miguel Ferrar has also signed on for a pilot of another show. It doesn’t look good for Jordan.

  5. bridget says

    I love Crossing Jordan, would hate to see it go. Love the people on it and enjoy watching them do what they do best.

  6. Vikki says

    I agree with Liz. There is just too many reality and other junk on TV. Crossing Jordan is one of the only programs that I look forward to catching on TV. My other favorite is the Closer.
    The entire cast of Crossing Jordan are believable people and persons that you can associate with.
    It would be terrible if they gave Jordan the ax. I know that now they are writing into the script about her being sick; well CSI Grimson is also suppose to have a hearing condition but week after week the audience just seems to put it on the back burner. The same thing could happen to Jordan or a specialist could help her. Then again anything is possible in TV.

  7. Kate says

    You’re scaring me – the show should not end so soon. Give it another couple of seasons… and what people have said before it right. It is not raving popular, but as we see what trash becomes popular this is probably a good thing – and what has allowed the show to maintain its brilliance. I have been a studious viewer since the beginning in 2007, as I will be to the end. I just hope that end is further down the track than this prognosis. :(

  8. Liz says

    I never miss Crossing.
    I love the show and the cast.
    There are very few shows I watch on the four (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) major networks.
    There is too much reality junk tv, and not enough good shows to watch.
    As a long time tv viewer, I’ve seen the shows go from bad to worse.
    I’ve turned to dish networks to make up for the lack of good programing from the four major networks. They are losing me as a viewer.
    I have no doubt that they will axe Crossing Jordan.
    It’s a shame!

  9. JESSIKA says

    I read that Jerry OConnell and Kathryn Hahn have signed on for other pilots. I think the writing is on the wall there…

  10. juanita says

    crossing jordan the best tv show on the air donald trump is a joke deal or no deal is have lost me to abc on sunday nites and another thing criminal minds is way too violent thank god you are moving jordan to wed nites.

  11. Melissa says

    While you may think Crossing Jordan is a good show, it will still be cancelled if no one is watching it. Sure the story and acting are good, but if no one watches, that doesn’t matter.

    And 18-19 year olds most certainly matter. This has nothing to do with political power as one misguided poster discussed, but about economic power. Advertisers are not concerned with the political power of 18-19 year olds, and as insinuated above, most 18-19 year olds similarly do not care about their political power. They have money that they are willing to spend on frivilous things and so they are very attractive to advertisers.

    Just because you guys like Crossing Jordan (as do I), that doesn’t mean enough people, not to mention young adults, are watching it in order for it to generate advertising revenue.

  12. Patty says

    I totally agree with Yvonne and Dianna. This is the ONLY show I still set reminders to watch.

    I find it amazing that the 18-19 year olds are so important as to have the power over what shows stay or go. As a former college teaching assistant, I am reminded of the argument my students used to make for lowering the legal drinking age. They believed if they were old enough to fight a war, they should be old enough to drink. I would respond by explaining the power of voting, telling them if college students would get organized and vote, they WOULD be able to get the drinking age lowered and the fighting age raised!! I showed them the amazing power of our seniors who organized with AARP, and now look at the benefits they are getting and the changes they are making with their votes. By the end of the semester, my students had seen what I was talking about and were all registered AND voting!!

    Looks like we Crossing Jordan fans may need to organize and let the network know that we (a)don’t want this show canceled, (b)want it placed in a time slot where it might actually have a fighting chance, and (c)demand that some SERIOUS support be thrown toward this marvelous show and its potential fans.

    In my mind, this is a show that has proven its value and longevity, making it worthy of the kind of “hype” we are seeing for a show like “Heroes,” which although well done with a likable young cast, I question its ability to keep the story going long-term.

  13. says

    Thanks very much for your comments.

    However, I didn’t say that Crossing Jordan wasn’t a quality show. I’ve watched quite a few episodes and enjoy the series.

    NBC’s decision most likely will be based on viewership and demographics. Neither one are very good right now.

    Like most any show that’s been around this long, the series is most likely also an expensive one to produce.

    I hope that it returns for another season as well. It’s just not looking very good right now.

  14. Dianna says

    I also want to say I disagree with you. Crossing Jordan is a great show that has survived with minimal promotion from NBC, thus actually making them more money. Crossing Jordan is well written and the acting is superb. This season has provided us with great stories and character development.
    I have been a fan since the begining also, and am looking forward to the announcement from NBC of a 7th season.

  15. Yvonne says

    Hi There,

    I totally disagree with your assessment for Crossing Jordan. This is a solid show and Jill Hennessy and the others hit their mark consistently in every episode. The show is well written and endeavors to delve deep into character development. I love the fact that over the last six seasons, the writers have peeled away at each of the characters. This permits the show to remain fresh and interesting each week. Finally, the music is simply awesome and definitely a cut above anything else on network television.

    I have been a fan since season one and look forward to NBC announcing a seventh season for Jill,Miguel, Steve, Kathryn, Ravi and Jerry!


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