The Assets: New ABC Mini-Series; Cancel or Keep It?

The Assets on ABC: canceled soon?Last night, ABC unveiled their newest Thursdays at 10pm show. Will The Assets be a hit like Scandal or, another ratings disappointment?

Based on the book Circle of Treason, The Assets follows the real life story of CIA counter-intelligence officers Sandy Grimes (Jodie Whittaker) and Jeanne Vertefeuille (Harriet Walter) as they search for Aldrich Ames (Paul Rhys), the most notorious traitor in US History. Others in this 1980s drama include include Stuart Milligan, Julian Ovenden, Christina Cole, and Ralph Brown.

Airing opposite new episodes of Elementary on CBS and Parenthood on NBC, The Assets was in a distant third place. It premiered with a dismal 0.7 rating (a 0.66 actually) in the 18-49 demographic and 3.77 million total viewers — the lowest series premiere in the history of the four big networks.

This is in huge contrast to the ratings of Scandal, the drama that usually airs Thursdays at 10pm. That’s ABC’s second-highest rated show, averaging a 3.1 demo rating with 9.11 million viewers, and is one of the few shows on ABC to be up year-to-year.

Scandal is scheduled to be on hiatus until February 27th. What’s more, the show recently had its episode order cut to 18 episodes, likely to accomodate for Kerry Washington’s real-life pregnancy.

The Assets was scheduled to fill the mid-season gap but now that plan looks questionable. ABC has billed The Assets as an eight episode mini-series and, based on these dismal numbers, there’s no way they’re considering making a second round.

One has to wonder if the network will even air all of the seven episodes they have left. The ratings are sure to be worse next week and will likely see the series pulled. ABC could simply fill the timeslot with Scandal reruns and get better numbers.

If ABC cancels future airings of The Assets, I suspect they’ll either burn off the remaining episodes on Saturday nights or release them online.

But, what do you think? Do you like The Assets? Do you plan on watching the remaining episodes? Why do you think it performed so poorly?

Canceled and renewed TV show

64 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Stanton says

    I liked the show. I enjoy dramatization of history. I would like to somehow see the series online if not on broadcast TV.

  2. Barbi says

    I can’t believe you cancelled this show. It’s a short series and we were just getting into it. Very interesting. Put it out there somewhere so we can see the rest of it, please!!!

  3. Gisel says

    My husband and I immediately enjoyed The Assets. Of course Blacklist is our favourite and I can’t believe I am saying that after we were telling everyone not to miss Homeland.
    The assets has a new twist of being in the past. The younger audiences of 20-30-40 don’t remember any of this so probably the stupidity of backwoods reality shows will win over good dramatic TV.

  4. BritishTex says

    Sadly, a really good, solid, well acted series like this will most probably lose out to the trite, over hyped, unintelligent series that currently seem to appeal to most Americans. I personally found it excellent.

  5. Robert says

    This is my kind of TV show. The story is real and remarkable, the acting is very good (especially Paul Rhys) and I can’t wait for the next episode. I wish ABC would do what NBC did with “The Blacklist” and let viewers catch up on any missed portions of the show online. I would buy the DVD set of this series if it became available. I certainly hope the show isn’t cancelled before it completes its run. With important lessons to be learned here, it’s too bad much of the the public seems more interested in junk fiction and silly reality shows than in shows about their own country’s history.

  6. ED says

    I really enjoyed The assets and want to see all of the series. I hope you will show them all seeing it is based on a true story.

  7. Ron M says

    The show was good. Having lived thru the decades of WWII and the Cold War, plus having done a great deal of reading about that time period, I thought it was a realistic look at how the CIA and the KGB operated in a time that many younger people might not understand or appreciate. Reading the book, Circle of Treason, by Ms. Grimes & Mrs. Verdefeuille, helped a great deal. I hope the series continues without being dropped mid-steam. It performed poorly, I suspect, because it would appeal to perhaps a slightly older audience. The exposure of Aldrich Ames, one of the worst traitors in our history, was a big deal.

  8. Eileen says

    I LOVED “The Assets” (although it reminded me of “The Americans” on FX). I will watch all 8 episodes – I thought it was a great show! You need to give new shows a chance – networks are so quick to cancel shows. Give “The Assets” a chance!

  9. the fish says

    Obviously trying to mimic F/X series the Americans but nowhere near the suspense or production quality. Seems like the characters lines are delivered as if only in the first or second reading by the actors and the cameras were secretly filming. This is not the right network or timeslot for this series. Maybe on BBC or PBS right after Downton Abbey.

  10. says

    I just loved the first show and will watch the entire series, so please show them all. I have talked to other friends and they also enjoyed it. In fact, the man of that couple even stayed awake throughout the entire show. Quite a feat. Too much going on to fall asleep. It is a show that requires one’s entire attention.

  11. trevor says

    I pass on this show, not my type of show, I would rather have a scifi show, a action show, a crime show or a nice drama…no more reality shows, no more documentary type shows, no more talk shows, no more singing or dancing competition shows….how a comedy that is actually funny? ABC has nothing interesting in its primetime lineup… me when ABC brings back the good ole times, the times when people actually stayed home to watch TV…..

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