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. lin says

    Boy were we upset to hear the show was cancelled. We were interested in it right from
    the beginning. How could they I agree with some of the other viewers that finally something was put on TV that part of history, & have to watch some other stupid that has no class at all. If we couldn’t watch it that night it was recorded to view in the future.
    We are really disappointed, no wonder we don’t watch ABC often.

  2. nick says

    I just found this show last week and it was great. Abe needs to ensure all 8 episodes are aired on Fridays or Saturday’s and on Netflix and amazon. It would be a real waste of a great show if we don’t get to see it on some channel or online.

  3. Belinda says

    Finally something good on ABC and they cancel it! It is very disappointing to have watched 2 episodes and then just to cancel it. I thought it was very interesting. I hope that air the remaining episodes. I was really bummed out that it wasn’t on tonight. Big thumbs down to ABC!

  4. Terry says

    Finally a show to watch on ABC. The Assets is one of the best shows I have seen in years. My wife and I enjoyed the drama. Then ABC cancels the show. Now I know why I never watch ABC.

  5. Priscilla says

    Cancelled the assets series. Big mistake ABC. We finally get to watch a section of real history with a real female lead role who was also a real life supermom in the 1980’s supermom era. Finally a series that appeals to those of us who actually experienced those tumultuous years and then you take it away? Wow! Disappointed retiree here.

  6. Sandy says

    I was so upset when I learned that the Assets was cancelled….I truly looked forward to the series on Thursday nights….please please somehow let the people who enjoy a good true story with good actors see the rest of the series…..Boo to ABC please announce if and when the Series can be seen

  7. Priscilla says

    I was looking forward to my new favourite The Assets and was shocked to see it is cancelled. Netflix should pick this one up because it is a brilliant and engaging series with a real life female heroine. She portrays the supermom so evocative of the 1989’s, of women who could do it all – work, handle a career and raise children, juggle marriage/relationships. I am in the age group 60’s+ was so busy with working and raising families and I remember Aldrich Ames in the news in the 1980’s but to see it actually played out on television was so fascinating and informative. What a pity to lose that history played out on TV. It was an important time in the world and powerfully represented the fears and hopes of an emerging female population who had an essence of something that provided role models of women that were breaking through the so called glass ceiling and paved the way for younger, powerful, intelligent females who followed them into history. Coming to mind is the real story of the female CIA agent who tracked and found Osama Bin Laden. Come on ABC, give us back a real life female heroine, not the reality show versions of other “fluffy” self involved housewives who offer nothing of value for our new generation to aspire to. Quality tv series based in reality are what we want. Please deliver and save me from “bachelor” and such ilk.

  8. Anonymous says

    I was hooked on it from the outset! As a former CI professional, I am very disappointed that it was canceled. Maybe ABC should consider another date & time, such as sandwiching the episodes in between higher rated shows.

  9. Chas says

    My wife and I liked the show. Since it was opposite Parenthood, a show we’ve watched from the beginning, we taped The Assets and watched it the next evening. We were sorry to find out just today the show would not be on this evening. We never watch any of the so called “reality shows”, e.g. Shark Tank. (There are too many others to list.). How can so many people watch the “duck” show and so few be interested in watching a quality drama such as The Assets?

    Perhaps, it needs to be promoted more. I remember reading coverage of the true event in the Washington Post years ago. It was a riveting story then. Even though I knew the eventual outcome of the TV show, I still wanted to see it achieved. Please return the show, perhaps against easier competition. Thank you.

  10. Rita says

    I can’t believe that ABC cancelled “The Assets” after only 2 episodes because of the “demo rating”. Why not change the demographics to a group that actually cares about the subject? Heaven forbid any viewer should actually have to (or more importantly, want to) THINK about events involving our country’s history instead of watching moronic reality shows, such as “The Bachelor or, even worse, “Bachelor Pad.” REALLY ABC!!!!!! People should be allowed to THINK without having to consider “THE RATINGS.”

  11. Barbara Swain says

    I was hooked after the first episode, and was looking forward to seeing the entire series. I think that the low ratings may be because the cold war and the Aldrich Ames scandal happened before the target 18-49 age group was even born. I’m curious about the average age of the viewers for this series was. I would suspect that many were in my age range (60+).

    • C Davis says

      @Barbara I was born in 1977 and husband was born in 1983 we both loved this show. I just think a lot of people our age and younger don’t care about history. My husband and I love to discuss history and politics with each other, but find that a lot of out peers could care less. I guess we just love knowledge.

  12. Doug Lovat says

    very disappointed with the decision. It was/is a terrific drama and I was looking forward to seeing all 8 episodes. How about Sat nights ???

  13. anonymous says

    ABC: Powers that be??? What are you thinking? Ratings is your business compass and as viewers content is our entertainment compass.

    You finally have true event content, introduce us to one of the authors that The Assets is based on “CIrcle of Treason”, get us hooked after two episodes and then pull the miniseries.

    Hope it was good for you, because I, for one, am not feeling very good about it.

    As what one of the protagonistthe book says in a very important part “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell what is going on here” . What is going on at ABC is that history and knowledge are put away for ratings and revenue.

  14. Don says

    I was looking forward to seeing how the mole was caught and his punishment. Can’t believe this got cancelled and everytime I turn around I keep seeing theKardahians. Not that is something that needs to be cancelled.

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