Kings: NBC Exec Explains Why the Ambitious Drama Failed

KingsUnder the reign of Ben Silverman, NBC spent a whole lot of money on Kings — about $4 million an episode. Unfortunately for the peacock network, most viewers weren’t interested and the network lost a lot of money.

After three weeks of low ratings, they shuffled the series off to die on Saturday evenings, when viewership is typically lower anyway. While many devoted fans tuned in each week to watch actors like Ian McShane, Christopher Egan, Allison Miller, Susanna Thompson, Sebastian Stan, Eamonn Walker, and Dylan Baker, the numbers weren’t enough for the show to go back into production.

Not only won’t Kings be returning for a second season but NBC isn’t planning on taking that kind of ambitious risk again. The network’s President of Primetime Entertainment, Angela Bromstad, said this week, “It was a great production, but our challenge now is, you need to sell something. People want to know what something is about.”

Bromstad continued, “Kings was a complex idea. It was originally developed when I was [at NBC] before. We didn’t make it [then] because we thought it was a little too high brow and too difficult to sell in a 30 second slot. It doesn’t mean we’re not looking for big ideas [but] they have to be big ideas that the audience can grab on to.”

What do you think? Was the concept too much for the audience to grasp or did it fail for another reason? Too good for network TV?

Canceled and renewed TV show

115 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. George P says

    NBC had an unbelievable product on its’ hands and couldn’t sell it. Same happened with Southland too. Is it an idiotic American public who prefers mindless junk and reality shows or inept executives at NBC? I think it’s a little of both…

  2. Eduardo says

    I’m only 16 years old and I differently can say that it was worth watching 100% and I wish their were more shows like this that would grab my attention. I agree with NBC not marketing their show more. How do they expect someone to watch a show if the viewer has never heard about it? I came across this show because I was actually hunting down something to watch, not because I heard about it. Simply hearing about it I know I would have seen it sooner and would have told my pals about it and then the thread would go on.
    I’m sorry NBC I am disappointed in you, life goes on and at this point I have better things to worry about.

  3. Stacey says

    I came across this show after recently watching the movie, Letters to Juliet, where I fell in love with actor Chris Egan. I searched his filmography and found Kings as one of the tv shows he starred in. I went on Hulu to watch it and I became ADDICTED. I watched the whole season in one day, even though it was a school night. The show was absolutely phenomenal!! I loved the story line, the plot, the characters, the romance between Shepard and the princess, basically everything! I’m not in any way familiar with the story of David and Goliath, but the way the show was put together was really interesting. I loved the modern twist and how it portrayed a lot of what happens today with the corruption and conspiracy. Not only was the story line amazing, the acting was superb as well. I loved Chris in it and it made me love him as an actor even more. I was quite disappointed with the finale because it wasn’t a clean ending. It was left at a cliff hanger and it’s unfair to the fans, especially because it was cancelled. I truly hope that the show will be brought back for another season, so the fans can see how it ends. I know the turnout the next time around will be much better. I still have so many questions and I hope that they won’t be left unanswered.

  4. says

    This show reminds me a lot of “Firefly” not by story at all but rather in sales approach. I am not sure what the fossils on the NBC board are trying to shake down but as storytelling, media, culture and we change the delivery and ability to do business needs to change as well. Kings is an outstanding show, I am incredibly impressed. I have complete confidence in the American public to not just keep up with, but to love Kings. I hope it resumes, if not I may make the revamping of this show my capital venture.

  5. Sir Sovereign says

    KINGS was one of the greatest shows ever made. NBC is a failing company and could have did great with this show if they marketed it better! ABC or SIFI need to revive it!

  6. MAGGIE JO says

    You have broken my heart!!!!!!!!!!!1 Kings was the best show ever made!!! It inspired me it showed our country for how it truly is. words could never describe what this show means to me aand I dnt even own a tv because I dnt like it. But I would HULU this series PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring it back u cnt end it the way u did.

  7. karen says

    now is a good time to revive KINGS. Our country is in a mess and needs some program like this to bring back religion. This program makes a person think unlike the stupidity of reality TV i.e. big brother etc. MARKET IT – throw it in everyones face – make them hear KINGS and get as hooked on it as i was. PLEASE this is definitely worth watching. I really looked forward to this over all the other programs available. If I were to win the lottery I would definitely invest in bringing it back. It teaches morals which is so sorely needed to day and the consquences of ones own actions. Proper advertising of this program could have ensured its success instead it was poorly presented to the public.
    We need programs like this.

  8. Judy Davis says

    I purchased the “Kings” DVD. I was horried at the ending! It just isn’t fair of NBC to do that. It will always be one of my favorite DVD but I always cringe when it comes to the ending! It isn’t fair to leave people up in the air and hoping some day someone will finish it.

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