Prime Suspect: Essentially Cancelled? Can It Be Saved?

Prime Suspect canceled yetNBC’s remake of the UK police drama, Prime Suspect, was one of the most anticipated new series of the new fall season. Unfortunately, it hasn’t lived up to expectations. It’ll surely be cancelled and now, it’s just a question of when. Has NBC even tried to save it?

Prime Suspect revolves around tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney (Maria Bello) as she works in the male-dominated homicide department of the NYPD. The show also stars Aidan Quinn, Brian O’Byrne, Tim Griffin, Kirk Acevedo, Joe Nieves, Damon Gupton, and Peter Gerety.

The series debuted on September 22nd to a 1.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 6.05 million total viewers. Most new series at least get solid ratings for their debut but Prime Suspect was a disappointment right out of the gate and was in a distant third place in its timeslot. What’s more, many viewers didn’t stick around for the whole premiere episode, an indication that they wouldn’t be returning for the second episode.

And they didn’t. Prime Suspect dropped 17% in the demo in week two to a 1.5 rating and 5.7 million viewers. As the weeks have progressed, things have only gotten worse and worse.

To their credit, NBC execs didn’t give up on the series. They’ve been airing reruns on Saturday nights. When Playboy Club was cancelled, they filled the timeslot with repeats of Prime Suspect. Interestinly, that added exposure didn’t help and could potentially have hurt the show because the ratings for Thursday night originals kept falling.

Should NBC cancel Prime Suspect?

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Two weeks ago, NBC decided to give the series even more exposure by replacing all of their weekday 10pm shows with Prime Suspect repeats. The result? Thursday’s original episode fell to an all time low; with a 1.1 rating and 4.03 million viewers.

For whatever reason, it’s clear that the vast majority of the viewing public has rejected this show. NBC has given them plenty of chances to see the show and they don’t want it.

At this point, the only reason that NBC hasn’t pulled Prime Suspect off the air is that they don’t have anything better to take its place, times are tough, and they’ve already paid for the episodes.

NBC ordered 13 episodes for season one and there’s simply no reason for them to order any more. With numbers like these, Prime Suspect is all but officially cancelled. It’s just a question of when NBC decides to call the time of death.

But, what do you think? Is the show better than what the ratings indicate? Why aren’t more people watching? Do you think Prime Suspect still has a chance at being renewed or should it just be cancelled now?

Canceled and renewed TV show

72 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. says

    Since Hill Street Blues, NYPD and similar series has there been a better show to view. Of course stars like Janes, and Ayden Quinn and others are to be congratulated on their investment to make it n enjoyable series.
    What I don’t understand is with so many lame shows and reality (they Bite) shows, they would cancel this show that has a flair to it. NBC, man up and put your Big Boy Pants on and let itplay out another season and get rid of some of the junk you carry instead!

  2. AT C says

    This was one of the best shows on TV – different and interesting in every way.
    Smart intelligent – yet they leave all these reality TV shows on- go figure!!
    I was so disapointed that the show did not continue that I saved a recording of one episode – hoping it would return.

  3. Judith desplechin says

    Excellent show, it would not have been cancelled if it had been on cable. Too smart for network tv.

  4. Cabal7 says

    You know the only real CRIME is taking shows like this off the air. Not only did HBO cancel one of the best series they had (The Black Donnelly’s; which also starred Kirk Acevedo) but now NBC is going to do the same thing with a BRILLIANT show. How is it that viewers can keep something so pathetic as CSI, located in three different cities in the US that’s utterly predictable, no story lines yet it can’t tune in for an hour of the best writing and acting seen in a crime drama in over a decade (in my opinion). It’s unbelievable that NBC blames viewers not watching, when they should be blaming marketing for not advertising. Nobody knows this show because you don’t promote this show, and after reading all of the comments on message boards, polls, forums, facebook and twitter, you would think they just don’t care about the show as a whole. They’re obviously more concerned about tossing away something great to put on a Debra Messing/Julia Louis-Dreyfus sitcom to keep the mass audience entertained for 2, maybe 3 seasons. Throw away something great, but keep in mind that at least this viewer won’t be watching NBC anymore as there isn’t anything good to watch on your station now!

  5. Jeff Arnold says

    What do people want to watch more reality shows? That’s ridiculous!!! Maria Bello is a great actress and the other actors on the show are awesome. This is a great show and I hope NBC finds a way to keep it around.

  6. Sherry says

    Hey why would they cancel this show? It was awsome, gutsey, interging. Compared to other shows on Thursday nights, this one had talent with Maria Bello and the gang. I sure would like to know who they get to offically watch the shows and who gets to say they are here or gone cause I know I am never asked. The good shows always get cut and they keep stupid ones like 2 1/2 men, or person of interest.

  7. Bonnie Lirette says

    I just cannot believe they are cancelling this program!
    I wait all week to see this show and everyone I know
    love it as well. This is really bad judgement on the
    part of NBC as far as I am concerned and they need
    to re think this decision
    Reminds me of when the network wanted to cancel
    Seinfield – hope get a clue and schedule another
    season – this show is way better than most of the
    crap offered and Maria Bello is a rare talent for sure.

  8. Kathleen says

    Cancelling Prime Suspect is so sad. It’s one of the best series in years! The stories are intriguing and Maria Bello and cast portray characters who’re powerful and real. I guess the reality TV pap is the best the networks can come up with since the audience is dim-witted and afraid of thought-provoking, beautifully crafted drama. Shame on TV audiences for failing to appreciate this gem.

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