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Hank: ABC Bumps Kelsey Grammer Sitcom; Is It a Cancellation Scare?

HankKelsey Grammer and his sitcom Hank have not been having an easy time of it. While ABC’s other freshman sitcoms — The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town — have all received additional episode orders, Hank has not. To add insult to injury, the comedy’s now being replaced by a 43-year-old rerun.

It’s that time of year again and ABC is pulling out its venerable animated special, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Though we’ve all seen it before, the special tends to bring in very good numbers.

Last year, Charlie Brown attracted 10.43 million and a 3.4/9 in the demo. That was down from 2007 when it brought in 11.4 million and a 3.8/11 in the 18-49 demographic.

Should Hank be cancelled?

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Of course, those numbers put Hank’s performance to shame so it makes sense to replace the sitcom on Wednesday, October 28th. With any luck, a significant percentage of people who tune in will stick around to sample the rest of ABC’s comedies.

While it might seem like a good strategy to boost the sitcoms’ audience, it’s really only a half-hearted attempt. The network is actually “double-dipping” with the Charlie Brown special. They’re airing a version of the special the night before as well. On Tuesday night, the network is pairing it with the less-popular You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown special to round out the hour.

Though this move makes sense for the network for the immediate future, it can only hurt Hank’s chances for survival. It’s interrupting the normal schedule and will presumably give extra exposure to all of the comedies but Hank, the one that needs it most.

ABC may not have totally given up on Hank yet but they’re not going out of their way to help it either. The way things are going, Hank may very well be replaced for November sweeps.

What do you think? Is Hank doomed already or could a different strategy help save it? Is it as bad as many people are saying?

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

wes May 8, 2010 at 6:50 am

I also like Kelsey Grammer but I think he can do a lot better in a different show if he had the writers that can write, It seems that when Hollywood has a lot of money they produce crap, they give the OK to any moron with a script and a writer and say go with it, all of you TV CEO’s need to start making good show’s again. So start.

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annbanan December 8, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Kelsey Grammer’s show isn’t doing well because of the actors, it’s not doing well because of the writing. He is one of the most talented comedic actors in my lifetime and I’ve loved him in almost everything he has done for TV and the movies. HIRE BETTER WRITERS and come up with a better idea and he’s back in business!!!! Hurry back Kelsey Grammer…..and by the way, it doesn’t have to be a comedy…you’d be great in a drama series, a witty mystery series (something really clever)… and I would watch it!!!!!

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crystal December 4, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Not a funny show at all. I like the rest of the lineup including cancelled Eastwick. I think if Eastwick was on a different night it may have a better chance of survival. It’s up against Nip/Tuck and that’s what I tune into at 9:00.

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mark November 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm

a poor choice to begin with,,let alone lead off the night at 8pm …”hank” was very unrealistic,,let alone funny

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Sandra D November 20, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Funny and different show. As usual when a network is dumb and makes bad choices they never change.

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Tom Lamb November 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Most of these ABC comedies are pretty funny. Hank is especially good. It needs some higher production value maybe (like better lighting) I think perhaps Kelsey Grammar makes it funnier than the material really is. The actress who plays his wife is phenomenal. She’s subtle and very funny. If the writing was a little stronger I think it would float. Of course I loved “Worst Week” on CBS last year and that got smoked. So what do I know.

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Paula Diaz November 18, 2009 at 6:24 pm

My kids LOVE Hank!! Please don’t cancel it ( for their sake). But The Middle & Modern Family are GREAT. ABC needs to give Hank a chance, it’s a good, clean family show.

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Jessica November 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I really can’t say that I am suprised! I love Kelsey Grammer and watch reruns of Frasier constantly, but this show is a big dissapointment. Everytime I watch it, I get the feeling the cast and writers are trying too hard to be funny. I mean, how long can a show survive on this premise? There are only so many jokes you can make about missing the mexican maid.

Sorry to see Kelsey go – I really did have high hopes, but this show really isn’t up to the standard set by Cheers and Frasier.

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Jimmy Dozer November 11, 2009 at 6:12 am

Middle is a good show out of the gate. Modern Family isn’t bad. Hank is ok. But many sitcoms start out shakey and then hit their stride. ABC isn’t giving Hank a chance. They interupt its scheduling every couple of weeks, so it can’t build a following. Give it a chance, it has potential.

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Matt November 9, 2009 at 10:00 am

Eh … Hank is for sure the least of my favorites on abc’s comedy block. There is nothing special about it. Same ol’ same ol’ family comedy. The Middle and Modern Family are hilarious. They’re characters that stand out and their personalities are so ridiculous. That’s what makes a good T.V. comedy. Nothing against other comments, but Hanks blandness is what makes it unwatchable. Nothing drastically funny happens at all and when something does, ie: no stairs in the house, it seems like they are trying to hard.

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Jeremy November 8, 2009 at 10:02 pm

“Hank” is an unwatchable mess. I’m surprised it lasted 4 episodes. It should be pulled immediately.

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Faith November 6, 2009 at 10:20 am

This show is terrible and so is his wife.

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momof3 November 5, 2009 at 8:58 am

I can see why abc would cancel this show–it stinks! I love Kelsey Grammer, but this show just doesn’t work. I tried to like it, but couldn’t. “The Middle”, however, is so funny and definately worth keeping!

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Alicia B October 31, 2009 at 5:50 am

I sincerely hope that the executives get a clue! We need some basic WHOLESOME tv programs that are truly “good” shows with decent morals! Hank started off slow, but it was building! As with most good things, it takes time for the actors to meld, the writers to bring out the best in each character. Let’s face it, in the beginning, even M*A*S*H didn’t have a huge following until it got some steam up. If they pull the plug on this show, it’s time for me to stop watching ABC.

My family and I don’t watch much tv at all, excluding reruns because we are through with the garbage that is supposed to be “laugh with America” shows. Whatever happened to writers who are original and basically moral. Why do they find it necessary to rely heavily on bathroom humor, belching, vulgarity, cursing and as always the obligatory sexual inuendos – including sexual orientation? It’s obvious that Hollywood is not producing many decent writers when they have to rework already done plots – i.e. how many times can you remake the same movie? We have writers who need some time alone in a meditation room to “think on good things” and come back to the table with some basic old-fashioned ideas before America’s entertainment industry truly goes to the dogs.

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