Harry’s Law: Does NBC Want the Show Cancelled?

Harrys Law canceled by NBC soonLast May, fans of Harry’s Law were overjoyed when NBC decided to renew the David E. Kelley series for another season. Unfortunately, the ratings have been terrible this season and it will surely be cancelled soon. What happened?

Starring Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law revolves around a sarcastic attorney named Harriet Korn who opens a small law firm in a rundown shoe store in Cincinnati. She’s initially aided by a young attorney named Adam (Nate Corddry), a quirky assistant named Jenna (Brittany Snow), and a paralegal, Malcolm (Aml Ameen).

The show debuted last January to a 2.2 in the 18-49 demographic with 11.07 million viewers. The demo number’s not great but it was certainly a lot better than what the network had previously been getting in the Mondays at 10pm timeslot. The show’s total viewership was impressive however and, when you have poor numbers like NBC, older-skewing viewership is better than nothing. The ratings for Harry’s Law began to dwindle down pretty quickly and the show ended the season with a 1.4 demo rating and 7.75 million.

The show was on the bubble for renewal and, on one of the other big networks, the law drama surely would have been cancelled. But NBC had few truly successful shows to renew so they brought Harry’s Law back for a second season.

A few months later, it was announced that the show’s cast was undergoing some big changes. Snow and Ameen were replaced by Mark Valley and Karen Olivo, Christopher McDonald became a regular, and the shoe store was abandoned in lieu of a more standard office.

Should NBC cancel Harry's Law?

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Many fans liked the old characters and quirky setting and expressed their displeasure with the changes before season two even began airing. When the show returned, it was to a new series low; a 1.2 in the demo and 7.5 million viewers. The most recent episode fell to an even more pitiful 1.1 rating with 7.3 million.

So, was NBC trying to sabotage Harry’s Law? No, of course not but they had to do something. Last season’s ratings weren’t good enough to keep the show on the air so producers and the network took a chance on making changes (not uncommon for a Kelley show) to hopefully attract more viewers. The gamble didn’t pay off and they ended up alienating some of the few viewers that they had.

Harry’s Law is currently averaging a 1.2 rating in the coveted demo and 7.85 million viewers. It’s the second-lowest scripted series on the network, performing just a bit better than Chuck on Friday nights. That show is ending it’s run after a 13 episode season and it looks certain that Harry’s Law will be cancelled after this season.

A few weeks back, NBC ordered a half dozen more scripts for Harry’s Law but, with these kinds of ratings, it’s very hard to imagine that they’ll ever be produced. If NBC’s mid-season replacement series tank, NBC could conceivably put some more episodes into production but that seems like a remote possibility at best.

Either way, Harry’s law firm is surely going to be closing its doors for good sometime this season.

What do you think? Did the season two changes ruin the show? Should NBC make more changes or should it just be cancelled already?

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121 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Trina says

    I loved this show and recorded it as to not miss an episode…..wish they’d bring it back! I’d rather watch this than the reality shows like Bachelor, Survivor, etc. This is a healthy escape from the struggles of this world whereas the reality shows are really a joke and are a bunch of manipulative people.

  2. says

    I agree with the other persons commenting….. I loved the show and Kathy Bates. The first season probably intrigued viewers a little more with the unconventional setting. But the honesty of Harry in dealing with her clients was so appreciated.

  3. Denise says

    You know,  in movies the writing can go the direction of telling the truth about issues in and of life that is the striking and brutal truth, and become successes.  Television on the other hand is allowed to go “just so far” with calling it as it is,  and then, the real conspirators and thieves in life say, “wait a minute, this show is talking about me, telling my secrets, and I can”t afford to let my lies of life be exposed.  T.V. Is a small screen, where y can see issues very clearly, it’s not a theater of entertainment where y our stay is temporary.  Television is more revealing and less fantasizing, so when the writers start to put into script information tha says “racism, sexism, betrayal, conspiracy” people can see the truth in our daily lives issues and challenges. The slave owner says not to let his slave go around the corner to see that there are blacks that live as well as the whites. As long as he can’t read and we don’t tell him he is really free, he will thnk he has to stay as our slave, and we need him to work for free.”.  The writers were excellent on Harry’s Law.  They were bringing up controversial point that are unfortunately  alive and well today, but our society is still victim of and party to “if we don’t talk about it, they will never know and we can still get away with it.”  There are more right-wing sponsors than we know about, and they don’t want to hear that **** in a t.v. show that points out real moments about injustice or truth. Those sponsors say “let them go to the movies if they want stories that reveal things we just don”t talk about.”. So, since Harry’s Law wasn’t big screen (which can be intimidating) it told too much truth, and they were /are  telling it in a very sensitive time in American life.  a time of an Afro-American president, a time of the wealthiest people alive are going to have to pay to help the nation get back on it’s feet. They knew what was going on while it was going on. They just don’t want someone or something to point out the injustice. We might just wake up and see the light.  The sponsors said “get out of my sandbox, it’s mine and you cannot have any of it.” 

  4. says

    I can not believe a quality show with intelligent dialogue about current issues affecting our culture has been cancelled. Kathy Bates is brilliant and really delivers. I suppose the bachelor and low caliber TV shows are what the mindless masses want to see. This quality program Harry’s Law should continue and not be cancelled.

  5. ginny schultz says

    I am shocked that a quality show featuring current events in real court cases with such a talented cast has been cancelled while shows like Bad girls, h ousewives and other nonsensical drivel remains. Time for anoter network to step up and promote quality TV instead of crap

  6. Kathy says

    I cannot believe that this wonderful show is being cancelled. Please – ABC, CBS or some other station pick this show up!!!! Please get rid of all the reality TV shows such as Survivor, American Idol, etc., etc. etc. The reality list of of TV shows goes on and on and on. I watch TV to escape and not to watch some schmuck dance, survive, sing, marry or whatvever else they do that these networks thinks amuses us. I am so angry that everytime I get into a TV show such as Harry’s Law, the networks have to disapoint me again by cancelling. I getting to the point of picking my shows from Netflix. At least you know how many seasons there are going to be and if the shows only last one or two seasons at least I will know this prior to me getting into the shows.

  7. Valerie says

    I can’t believe Harry’s Law is being cancelled and what is left to watch on TV is such garbage. It’s insanity! I have never been driven to make comments about TV shows, but, I am joining the cause to bring this show back., now. Where can we make our views known to the networks where it might make a difference? I will call everyone I know to join the cause.

  8. Brenda says

    I can’t believe this show was cancelled. Say it isn’t so! Kathy Bates is brilliant as usual. There is so much trash on TV. I worry about the intelligence of our country when the masses would rather see what the Kardashians are doing instead of watching a quality show like this. NBC shame on you!

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