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The Firm: Cancelled, No Season Two?

No season two of The Firm on NBCIt’s been a rough road for Mitch MicDeere. Now, it’s come to an end — at least on NBC. The Firm has been cancelled after one season of 22 episodes.

The Firm picks up years after the young attorney (Josh Lucas) made his deal with the mob to take his old crooked law firm down. He and his family have come out of hiding but their problems haven’t gone away. The show also stars Molly Parker, Callum Keith Rennie, Juliette Lewis, Natasha Calis, Tricia Helfer, Martin Donovan, Shaun Majumder, and Paulino Nunes.

The series represented one of NBC’s biggest launches of the season but it misfired right from the start. The two-hour premiere brought in a dismal 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic with just 6.32 million viewers.

When The Firm moved to its regular timeslot on Thursdays a few days later, the numbers got even worse. Week two dropped 29% in the demo and the ratings kept falling in subsequent weeks. After hitting an embarrassing low for a primetime show — a 0.8 demo rating with 2.97 million viewers — NBC sent it packing to Saturday nights.

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The numbers have been awful since that move — even for a Saturday night show. It’s frequently outperformed by movies and crime drama reruns on the other networks.

To date, The Firm has an average of a 0.7 rating in the demo and 2.10 million viewers. On our NBC Ratings Report Card, which measures the relative demo success of shows on the network, the show has a “D-” grade — even after low viewership is taken into account.

On the positive side, NBC’s deal for The Firm is unique and a bit more like the one the network had for Merlin, the supernatural drama produced by the BBC.

Sony and eOne partnered to produce The Firm, primarily for the overseas market. Thanks to pre-sales and Canadian production tax credits, the cost of producing the series was already paid for and NBC was able to pick up the show for a greatly reduced licensing fee, just like any other secondary buyer.

Not surprisingly, The Firm won’t be back on NBC (according to TVWise) because the network has opted not to renew its deal with Sony and eOne. The series could continue to be produced for other markets however and even possibly be picked up by a cable channel here in the US. There’s been no word on the show’s fate beyond NBC so, for now, we’ll have to wait and see.

There are 22 episodes in the first season of The Firm and tonight’s marks the 17th. Right now, the finale is slated for June 23rd. If a second season isn’t going to be produced, hopefully the last episode will supply enough closure for the few million faithful viewers who’ve kept watching.

What do you think? Are you sorry that NBC isn’t continuing the show? Would you watch on another channel or purchase season two on DVD?

 

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