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. Bill says

    Best show on network TV! What’s wrong with viewers today? NBC, give it a chance! Look at your lineup, what do you have to lose???

  2. claud says

    I never cared about a show being cancelled I am so upset about this show ending. Its on the level of a Showtime series in terms of production, writing and performances. Maria Bello is sublime but the whole cast is top notch and the casting is unsually geniune. I love wide angle pans of NYC and the unforced creative sub plots. I go out of my way to watch. Please dont cancel

  3. Greg says

    What a fantatic show!. I have to agree with everyones’ previous comments, cast, script all tremendous. As William says, this is very telling of the state of TV as a whole…….Of course what we need now is CSI: Chicago or maybe NCIS: New York!!! God save us all…..

  4. Mary says

    I have never lobbied for a show to stay on the air. I will be super disappointed if this is cancelled and completely lose faith in big networks. Please save this show, Maria Bello and the entire cast is superb!!

  5. Jim says

    We do have too many cop shows, but this one is good enough to stay around. It has very good actors and characteristics the mature audience likes to watch. I hope that the network has some decision makers that are mature enough to appreciate a winner when they have one!!

  6. Roofles says

    R.I.P. – It was such a fresh take on an unexplored genre. For those who didn’t watch, Maria Bello played a tough-as-nails cop who doesn’t take any lip, but her problem is that she just can’t leave her work at the office – she’s just too committed to the job and takes her work home with her, and that spills over into her relationships, so the men in her life have to learn that she’s married to the beat. That’s not the only bit of compelling, original drama the show served up – the precinct is run like an old boys club, and they can’t handle a strong, empowered woman shaking things up, and they’ll do anything they can to keep her down because she’s a woman. She’s so brave, and she’s got a good heart, but – and here’s where the writers were genius to incorporate this plot point – sometimes she has to go around the law to get her guy. Also, she has a douchey hat, and a permanent smirk that compliments her witty one-liners perfectly.

    Yeah, I have no idea why this show was cancelled.

  7. chuck miller says

    This series has consistently impressed me with it’s writing, acting, directing and cinematography. The characters are fresh and real; the situations interesting. The single false note for me has been Jane’s boyfriend; him I just don’t see. I would love to keep watching the show and hope that NBC decides to stick with it and find a better way to promote it. Definitely a winner, in this or any genre.

  8. Monica says

    This is the only show I watch of the new TV season ! Maria Bello is great, an supporting cast is good, too. There’s a new female character coming that’ll add lots of interest, but I guess it’ll never happen, that’s a shame.

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