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


    You exectuives are not listenening to the seniors we to have rights to watch other than your stupid relaity shows and comedies that do not make us laugh or have any meaning. We seniors know what it is to be young.but the young do not know what it is to be old.We would like to have a voice in your demographics from 50 plus plus. Think about it.

  2. Ann Marie Cancro says

    Please renew we love this show and its colorful cast of characters. I did like the shoe store setting. It brought uniqueness to Harry’s Law. I love the new characters as much as the old they should make appearances.

  3. elc says

    I love harry but do miss the original show…it was fun and quirky…miss those characters…not so crazy about the new ones…loved the neighborhood office with the shoe store….it was great harry as the neighborhood lawyer…

  4. KC says

    It seems like every time I try to watch this show, it’s a rerun. How can an audience be determined with nothing but reruns?

  5. Betty Nunley says

    I cannot believe you have cancelled Harry’s Show. It’s the only show that has variety, it goes across the spectrum with plot lines, not the same old same old basic plot line like CSI or Hawaii 5-0. The variety of characters on HL and their different interests and approaches to solving the problems of humanity is a fine thing. Didn’t always like the way things turned out, but it reflects real life. Not many TV shows do that. I hope you can pull this out of the dustbin, put some concentrated advertising behind it, and get Harry’s Law back on the air ASAP. I liked every character, Jean Smart and that paranoid character she played. She, like Kathy Bates, are uniquely suited to their roles Happily I recently discovered Harry’s Law, and now you have cancelled it. Bring it back.

  6. mickeylee smith says

    Harry’s Law is one of my families favorite shows. Every time there is a good show they move it around and it loses it’s audience. Kathy Bates is wonderful..NBC wise up.

  7. mary says

    I think the new changes in season 2 stunk. Should not have changed the actors. The show was different and interesting. Do i enjoy the shows in season 2? Not so much. Please don’t cancel, bring back the old format.

  8. Vicki says

    I loved Harry’s Law. I watched it every Wednesday. I loved the theme and the cases revolved around social justice. It was what people in this country needed to see. Sooooo much better than reality TV… Why can’t we keep good tv and get rid of the trash like shows about the Kardashians, etc…. Who cares about their lives…Vicki

  9. Mike says

    As usual, any show that is not to a well used formula is not given a chance to develop an audience. I’m sure that it didn’t help that many of the cases taken on by the firm had liberal overtones. That seems to be a sure path to discard by the corporate owned networks. The usual pattern is to not allow the disapproved show to be moved all over the schedule and often preempted by any goofy one shot “news” show that can be found. Thus, no development of a viewer base. As with most things these days, instant success is required before a plan is allowed to be completed. That’s true of TV shows as well as our politics.

  10. Jean says

    This is a great show…do not cancel it. Kathy Bates is a terrific actress and the premise is a good one. It deals with issues that are current and appealing. Moving the show from different days and times is not a good idea. I’m always trying to find it.

  11. n.j kelleher says

    I liked the quirkier setting and characters better than this year’s cast of characters, however, I still loved kathy Bates in her rold as harry. Sorry to be saying good-bye to the show.

  12. ann says

    I’m looking for harry’s law; what in the world happened? Bates is a great actress. I didn’t like the change of the the shoe store. They should had keep it just the way it was at the beginning. The story has suspense, especially with the characters that got paid for watching the stores. I looked forward to Harry’s Law. Now, I here it is going to be canceled. Why didn’t you leave well enough alone.

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