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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 }

Anonymous May 15, 2012 at 9:15 am

I LOVE Harry’s Law!! I loved the first season best but love the second season as well. We look forward to the show all week and can’t wait to see what mess Harriet gets herself into and manages to get out of with such intelligence. She makes us think. Please reconsider and bring Harriet and Tommy back!!!!


Mitica1477 May 13, 2012 at 3:20 pm

This is the only show on the air that really makes you think. It is a HUGE shame that it is being cancelled. Perhaps you shouldn’t have moved it instead of blaming the show itself. I loved this show. It was one of the few shows that I don’t miss.


Brent Hunt May 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I love the show. I love the cast. I especially think Tommy Jefferson adds a lot and the entire cast works very well together.

One suggestion I would make is to elimimate the two trial episode. Write a script with just one case to solve each week and give each cast member a job to do. Save all the great ideas for future episodes.

If we liked soaps we’d stick to daytime TV.

I love Harriet Corn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Phil Angelo May 1, 2012 at 9:16 am

Why in the hell would anyone in their right mind even think of canceling Harry’s Law. It is one of the best shows on tv, bar none. I live in a condo complex with people of all ages and the show is the most talked about show here. Don’t ever think of canceling this show.


BPT April 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm

I have thoroughly enjoyed every episode of Harry’s Law. I find the new characters to fit in well, although I do miss the paralegal who went off to law school. It is a very entertaining show, which I follow with The Good Wife and my Sunday evening is complete and makes me very happy and completely entertained. I would hate to see this wonderful show go the way of all things. I hope NBC will reconsider their decision as I understand it is the #2 show on NBC. Can NBC really afford to let such a gem go?


Bridges Holland April 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I think Harry’s Law is one of the best written show on tevelision. It is so refreshing to see something clever and not a foolish reality show. Please don’t take a well written, clever, funny show that makes you think off the air. This is one of the few bright spots on television that is not on a cable or satelite networks.


Anne Yerkes April 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Harry’s Law is one of the few really good shows on TV. I know very few people who actually like ‘reality’ shows. I appreciate a show that has a storyline and characters we can care about. Kathy Bates is phenomenal as Harry! I hope that another good show is not taken off the air (like V, The Event, Flash Forward). PLEASE keep Harry on TV!!!


Marly Kennedy April 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Please don’t cancel Harry’s Law. It is different than a lot of the other shows on. I love that the show always has at least 2 cases each week and the cases are different. Harry’s Law is one of the few shows ever that I plan my social events around. It would be nice if the network would keep it on one night instead of moving it around. Everyone I have told about Harry’s Law love it!
It would be a mistake to remove it, please don’t


Andrea S. Klug April 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

please…please…please DO NOT cancel Harry’s Law. It is such a pleasant change from all of the other shows on television today!!!


Alana k April 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Shame on NBC! There was finally a show 4
people that aren’t 29 anymore, n who don’t
Like reality shows. Shoulda left it quirky! We
May not b the optimum viewing age, but we
R loyal. There’s not a show on NBC, including
SVU that is worth watching! Disgraceful!


Malcolm & Elsie April 22, 2012 at 11:36 am

DON’T cancel – Great cast, Great characters & Great story lines!!!!


Jane N.Rajotte April 9, 2012 at 9:03 am

If they stopped moving “Harry’s Law” all around people would know when it was on and at what time!! NBC hasn’t given this GREAT program a chance.


Anonymous April 8, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Don’t cancel I love it


Bette Logan April 8, 2012 at 11:12 am

Leave it on! PLEASE!!!! It’s my favourite show. I tell everyone about it.


DT April 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Harry’s Law is a great show. One of the few I actually watch. It was better in the Shoe Store setting, but still well worth watching. I’d like to see it continue.

If it gets cancelled, whatever gets plugged into it’s slot will probably see my TV set go dark.

They had a great idea initially with this show. Really good. It could still be.



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