Crusoe: A Mini-Series or Just a Doomed-to-be-Cancelled TV Show?

CrusoeLike its namesake, NBC’s newest high-adventure series has had a rocky journey. The network believed in the Crusoe TV show enough to give it lots of promotion — airing dozens of commercials during its Summer Olympics coverage and erecting a “treehouse” in the middle of New York City for a publicity stunt. At the same time, they saddled it with a Friday night timeslot, one of the least-watched nights of television. Did the series ever have a chance for survival?

Crusoe is based on the Robinson Crusoe novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1719. The series follows the adventures of a young man, Robinson Crusoe (Philip Winchester), who leaves his wife, Susannah (Anna Walton), and children to embark on a high-seas adventure. He hopes to find enough riches to settle his impending debts. Crusoe ends up stranded on a remote tropical island where he rescues and befriends a native named Friday (Tongayi Chirisa). While trying to find a way off the remote island, the two must battle the elements and intruders for survival. Crusoe also features Sam Neill, Sean Bean, Mia Maestro, Mark Dexter, Emma Barnett, Jake Curran, James Lauren, James Middlemarch, and Lorcan O’Toole. Featuring lots of special effects and costumes, the series was filmed in South Africa.

The TV show debuted on October 17th on NBC. The Crusoe two-hour premiere attracted a modest 7.38 million viewers. It placed second in total viewers for the first hour and for the second hour, it moved up to first place. Unfortunately, the show was third in the all-important 19-49 demographic with a 1.6/5 rating/share. That means that, overall, it drew an older audience which isn’t what the network needs or wants. Taking into account all of NBC’s promotion, this wasn’t a very good start for the historical drama.

Should Crusoe be cancelled?

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The following weeks’ ratings didn’t bring better news. The second episode dropped to 6.09 million viewers and a 1.3/4. The third week’s episode dropped almost a third of its viewers and brought in just 4.09 million and a dismal 0.8/3 rating/share. The TV show’s ratings hit a slight upturn for two weeks but last week’s episode hit an all-time low of 3.56 million viewers. That’s less than half of the premiere’s total audience.

After seven episodes (five hours plus the two-hour premiere), NBC has decided to relocate Crusoe to Saturday nights beginning December 5th. This move will cause viewership to drop even further and it’s a sure sign that the network has given up on Crusoe.

So, is Crusoe a regular TV show or a mini-series? Most of the network’s press materials have treated it like a regular TV series but, on NBC’s website, Crusoe is referred to as a “high-action, fast-paced, thirteen-part series.” (A representative for the network declined to clarify.) With a mini-series, viewers could be assured of a conclusion to the storyline. In the case of a regular series, closure is less likely. Either way, Crusoe is coming to an end.

Unfortunately for the show’s loyal audience, it’s nearly impossible to think that NBC will renew the costly series or produce any additional episodes. In terms of viewer demographics, it’s been a disappointment from the start. On the positive side, the network will very likely finish airing all 13 episodes. For now, it looks like the remaining six episodes will air on December 6th, December 20th December 27th, January 10th, January 17th and, as a finale, January 31st.

Will the last episode show Crusoe returning to his family or will loyal viewers be left stranded with him? Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

Canceled and renewed TV show

123 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Ken says

    Please do not cancel this! I really enjoyed the show. It was nice to watch something other then modern things. All you have today is CSI and NCIS and other modern shows. I want to see the good adventure shows!

  2. Ana Estima says

    I’m from Portugal and I love Crusoe. I understand the problems with the audience, but they should have ended and let Crusoe come bach to Susanah and son’s. please make Crusoe anda Friday back.

  3. sumex love says

    i am suprised there wont be a 2nd season.but they should have ended it in 1st sucks for we nigerians we will miss crusoe. especially friday.

  4. Jeanette says

    I loved Crusoe. This series should never have been cancelled. It actually had values and adventure that have been lost in the pop culture of anything goes society we now have in the U.S.
    If you enjoyed the series I suggest you read the book as well.

  5. Angie says

    i am 15 years old watch the Bachelor and many other raved about shows. i think that NBC should just have done more advertising on the show because i didn’t even know about it until one day when i had nothing better to do so i started watching it but now i love Crusoe and even went to 20 different sites before i could watch the episodes online. i really hope they don’t cancel the show its one of those honest shows with adventure, action and a interesting plot line. what makes it even better is that it is different from so many other shows out there.

  6. Sharon says

    I am 53, and I really don’t understand why the networks are targeting the younger crowd for their decisions..they don’t watch much tv (they are usually out at the bars and restaurants , or on the computer internet- at least my 18-27 offspring are) and they don’t have much spending money (If they do, they aren’t watching tv!!). It is us older folk….the 45-60 that have the money, the time and the inclination to watch a good show. ….. No I don’t watch Bachelor, I survived a Japanese Game Show, any Vampire or teen reality show….I watch superior made show such as Robinson Crusoe, Lost, Journeyman (now cancelled too), Tudors (Showtime), Rome (HBO) etc

  7. Laura S. says

    We loved watching Crusoe and admired that it was a clean action show and could easily be watched as a family. We NEED more shows like that. We are really disappointed that a second season won’t be airing. Looks like a lot of people think it would be worth finishing out.

  8. Ann says

    Robinson Crusoe is one of the most interesting, well-acted, shows I’ve ever seen!!Each episode is like a movie! It’s fun; the dialog is great; the plots are never boring with the inventions and all the adventure; and the special effects are great!!

    I went out and bought the DVD as soon as it was released! Hopefully, another TV channel will pick the series up. This series is just too fantastic to have been canceled!

  9. Madeleine says

    This was about the only show on television that had good values, adventure and was a pleasure to watch. It’s sad that so many shows that cannot be comfortably ,watched with the younger generation seem to proliferate while truly worthwhile and entertaining shows get canceled. Please bring it back!

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