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Prime Suspect: NBC Airs Last Episodes of Cancelled Series

Prime Suspect canceledLast night, NBC burned off the final two episodes of Prime Suspect. The TV series has been ratings-challenged right from the start and, in November, NBC acknowledged that they wouldn’t be ordering any installments beyond the initial 13 episode order. The official word was that they would re-evaluate once all of the episodes had aired but everyone knew that it was really being cancelled.

If there was even a glimmer of hope that Prime Suspect might see a second season, the ratings for the final episodes didn’t help. Prime Suspect’s numbers continued to dwindle in the latter part of 2011. Last night, following a month hiatus, the finale registered a new series low.

Prime Suspect has been all but officially cancelled by NBC and its replacement, The Firm, is doing even worse. Last Thursday’s episode registered a 0.9 rating for its fourth episode. It took Prime Suspect 10 weeks to drop that low. Fortunately for fans of The Firm, NBC purchased 22 episodes up front. It remains to be seen if they’ll all air.

At the recent TCA press tour, NBC execs noted that, had Prime Suspect been on a premium cable channel like Showtime, it would have been declared a hit and would have been quickly renewed. Maybe but we’ll never know.

What do you think? Are you sorry that this was the end of Prime Suspect? Why do you think it didn’t catch on? Would it have been a hit on HBO or Showtime or even on a basic cable station like TNT?


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{ 277 comments… read them below or add one }

Carm May 6, 2012 at 6:16 am

Another great show cancelled….why do they have gaps in episodes and think that people can really stay interested in a new show or even know when it will be on when everyone is super busy trying to work for a living and survive…..crazy, they should’ve given this show a chance. It was really good and I am going to miss it.


Theresa powell May 4, 2012 at 7:42 am

This is a great show! The acting and writing was smart and real. It needed a chance! maria bello was believable ,but I can see how some men wouldn’t like seeing a female being the strong detective in this show or any show! we still live in a male dominated world… Unless the female is dressed provactively men won’t give it a chance! Sad but truth!


Shelley April 27, 2012 at 1:10 am

I concur with the aforementioned comments. The characters were real. The writing captured the unspoken behaviors that are present in that field. Sexist remarks and good ol boys making it tough on a woman. Good stuff not usually found on TV these days. I rarely watch TV but that was a favorite. Guess I’ll practice my fiddle more now that it’s a gone.


Rob April 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I don’t watch many police televisions programs since they are usually showing police violating civil rights, beating suspects and drawing their weapon on anything that moves, endless amount of ammunition in gun fights, and reckless car chases that has every unit chasing one suspect and some times causing more damage than not. (Believe it or not current law enforcement courses discourage these practices for liability reasons) I believe these overzealous plots (while may be entertaining to some) may have the opposite effect in the real world where citizen believe crimes can be solved in one hour, witnesses provide detailed information, and police do not have to follow lawful procedures while investigating crimes.

I have worked in law enforcement and I don’ t believe that these shows reflect the true nature of law enforcement but a fringe group. I started to watch prime suspect because of the story line and acting ability of its cast. I believe the writers of this show seem to be able to bring underlining stories of the police, victims and suspects that add a human interest in to the plot. This program should be picked up by another network or pay for view in which I believe audience numbers will increase.


M. Wagner April 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Prime Suspect caught my attention from the get go. It was a raw, realistic, and well written police/detective series with well casted characters who were convincing, and who had interesting an dynamic between them. Cancellation was a disappointment. I will purchase the available episodes of the show for nights when all that is on is “Unforgettable” or “The “Mentalist”! If I wanted to watch something as rediculous as a detective who remembers EVERY day, minute, and second of her life with visual precision, OR, a guy who can determine a suspect’s guilt simply by observing the way he winds his watch– then I’ll watch Southpark…at least Cartman is hilarious!!


Mister Reader April 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

With so little cross-network advertising, it is difficult to discover programs of interest.


T, Jefferson April 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I totally agree. Prime Suspect was a wonderfully well-written, well-acted show that most likely would have risen above the low ratings if given a chance. In this day and age of reality shows and other worthless sitcoms, for a show as good as Prime Suspect to come along is refreshing. I will definitely miss this show, particularly the lead character, portrayed by Maria Bello. She did an amazing job in the role as detective Timony. What a great loss. I am getting sick and tired a great shows being given the boot! These damn networks get you hooked into a show and then pull the rug right from under you. Enough already!!!!


Diane April 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

It was an unusually great show for network Television. I loved Maria Bello as Timony. She wasn’t as messed up or complicated as the Helen Mirrin character (Tennison), at least not as she had been written thus far, but she certainly had her own set of challenges to deal with. I don’t really like cop shows that much. For me the characters have to be interesting on their own and in their rapport with one another. Prime Suspect accomplished this in my opinion, with really good acting to boot. I’d say NBC is nuts to cancel this show, but honestly, it is typical. Networks never even give people time to find a show and good stuff often goes unappreciated. It’s part of the throw-away culture we live in, which is an environment where anything artful cannot survive and if it does it is usually a fluke. That’s why, more times than not, I end up watching paid television. The shows are more authentic and they are allowed half a second to develop an audience.


Diann April 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm

I had never even heard of this show, until it came up on Hulu Plus! What a great show that never got a chance! I really hope someone picks it up!


Mo F April 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I genuinely never leave comments on any site, but Prime Suspect was easily one of the best written, best performed, and true quality shows to come along in a very long time. I genuinely think the network did the viewing public a disservice to have given up on one of the only dramas on the traditional network channels that was worth following so quickly. I miss it already. And replacing it with The Firm was salt on a fresh wound.


Mary D April 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm

We love Prime Suspect, it was a very clever and well acted show! Bring it back


Liz Southam April 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I loved it. I miss ER, and NYPD Blue….this was right up there.


T Daley April 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm

GREAT SHOW! It wasn’t that it was “not ready for prime time”, it was “Too much for Prime time. I love all the characters. NBC let a good one slip by. TNT, AMC, sombody do us a favor and pick this show up.


jessica March 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Prime suspect was one of my favorite fall shows! 13 episodes are not enough to determine a hit! Please let another station pick it up!


K Jackson March 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm

This was one of our favorite shows! We hope that someone picks it up so that we can continue to watch it. Too bad NBC was only interested in ratings. Great acting and great plots!


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