Kings: NBC Yanks Low-rated TV Series from Sunday Nights

KingsAs we predicted a few weeks ago, immediately following Kings’ less-than-stellar premiere, NBC has pulled the ambitious drama from its Sunday night timeslot.

Kings focuses on the fictional nation of Gilboa, a country that is very similar to our United States except that it’s ruled by a king, Silas Benjamin (Ian McShane). Based on the biblical tale of King David, the series features the talents of Christopher Egan, Susanna Thompson, Michael Patrick Crane, Allison Miller, Sebastian Stan, Eamonn Walker, Dylan Baker, Wes Studi, Joel Garland, Jason Antoon, Sarita Choudhury, and Macaulay Culkin.

The TV show’s two-hour premiere ratings failed to impress anyone with a fourth place showing of just 6.47 million viewers and a 1.6/4 rating/share in the desirable 18-49 demographic. The following week’s ratings were even worse with 4.62 million viewers and a 1.3/3 in the demo. Episode five, which aired on Sunday night, could only muster 3.64 million viewers and a 1.1/3.

Based on these weak numbers, the peacock network has opted to shift the remaining eight installments of Kings to Saturday nights at 8pm. Expectations are very low on that night and the networks typically just air reruns. It looks like NBC is committed to airing all existing installments of Kings but there’s little hope that it will be returning for a second year.

Effective April 12th, the network will fill the Sunday night timeslot with expanded editions of the Dateline newsmagazine. NBC execs believe it will serve as a better lead-in to Celebrity Apprentice which has been running from 9-11pm on Sundays.

Kings will begin running on Saturdays as of April 18th.

Canceled and renewed TV show

25 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Winston says

    I’m just now watching this on dvd. I had no idea it was even on. It feels just like a very quality cable show. Ian McShane is amazing. Way too good for network. I still can’t believe it was on network tv. Given its nonexistent promotion, as well as its total failure to play up the intriguing possibilities of it’s very faithful biblical angles, not to mention its timeslot, all I can say is NBC clearly wanted it to fail.

  2. J.M.S. says

    I have fallen in love with this television show. They capture just enough of the classic vibe, leaving you with subtle hints of technology, and modern culture. I’ve also enjoyed watching the way the nature of each character has evolved as specific events unfold. I’m just hoping they don’t make the mistake of canning a show that I’m pretty sure will catch on in the second season. I also agree it would be more successful on Showtime, or HBO. I’ve been telling everyone I know to watch it!

  3. A.Bundy says

    Wesley, you are completely right! Most shows on public TV are utter crap and usually are in the reality garbage. This show can do much better under showtime or hbo.

  4. Wesley says

    After watching the first episode, (online) I knew the show would be canceled. It’s way too good for network television. If you understand which type of people watch networks like NBC, you’ll understand why a show like “Kings” will always be doomed from the beginning. Think about it; it came on just before “Celebrity Apprentice”. The type of people who would watch “Kings” would not stay for “C.A.”, just as the people who watch “C.A.” would not tune in for “Kings”. It just not the right mix. I am a fan of the premium channel shows, “Sopranos”, “Deadwood”, “Dexter”, “Tudors”, etc… The only non-premium channel show I make a point to watch is “Breaking Bad”, and that’s on AMC, which is still not network. I had seen a few previews for “Kings” when it first came on, though, I didn’t watch it. Had it not been for “Ian McShane”, who I recognized from “Deadwood”, it never would have registered. The only reason I sat down to watch it online was because some friends of mine, who only have rabbit ears, said it was really good. Had it not been for their recommendation, I probably never would have watched it, because I have no faith in anything the networks do. That’s the crux of the problem. “Kings” is an “HBO” style program. The mindless drones who watch network television will never like a program like this, and since cable channels have created a niche for this type of programming, most of the people who would like “Kings” will never see it, because they don’t watch networks. I really hope that “HBO” or “Showtime” picks it up, which they very well might. As one poster already commented, “HBO” doesn’t really have anything going on at the moment. The third season of “Big Love” already ended, and while “True Blood” is due for it’s second season this summer, that’s not anywhere close to what they could be doing. I’m sure HBO is on the look-out for something new, and this would right up their ally. But, I digress.

  5. KingsFan says

    Definetly one of my favorite shows. Unique and great in every way. David Shepherd was very appealing and I have yet to miss an episode- neither have my friends. If NBC could care less about it I suggest they reappear on a different channel. The show must go on!

  6. Judy M Dugan says

    I liked it. Something that was entertaining. Much better than realitity t.v. or people eating bugs.

  7. Wolfangel says

    I posted this on another link, instead of retyping it, I’ll post it again here:

    ” believe Kings would have drawn that audience in time. I was surprised to find that some of the women I work with hadn’t even heard of it. I had to tell them how good it was and when it came on and then they too started watching it. I’m very disappointed that NBC decided to pull this show. It was one of the few shows that is really good in a good way. But even going further than the entertainment aspect of it, society needs this show right now. With the economy, job market, people losing their homes, their lives as they know it — this series reminded people that the impossible can become possible with a little faith and courage.”

  8. Jen says

    Kings has been moved again. It has been pulled from it’s Saturday slot effective immediately and won’t return until June 13th-July25th and then that’s it for Kings. It will not be renewed for a second season. Obviously. Unless (although I highly doubt it) it gets picked up by another network.

  9. George says

    I have to say Kings is a great show, how in the world can NBC totally lose sight in this project. If you want to be a credible network you have to with out a doubt air credible and well written genres, Kings is one of those shows. To see what the show has involved into so far in its short stint on the airways i am delighted by the product. Please NBC don’t give up on this wonderful show. The viewers are there you just need to promote it better.

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