Well, NBC Universal has made the first syndication cancellation of the 2006 -2007 season. It comes as little surprise that the struggling Megan Mullally Show has been cancelled — but it does leave some local stations in a bit of a bind.
Back in 2005, as the popular sitcom Will & Grace was preparing for its final season, NBC Universal announced that the actress best known for her portrayal of the saucy Karen Walker would host her own daytime talk show. It seemed like a good move.
Megan’s Karen character was extremely popular on W&G and some even suggested that she and Sean Haye’s Jack could have even sustained their own sitcom. Two-time Emmy Award-winner Megan also had a lot of experience in television and on stage in such musicals as Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business WIthout Really Trying! (with Matthew Broderick). Heck, sitcom veteran Ellen DeGeneres has done extremely well with her daytime talk show — why not Megan?
So, The Megan Mullally Show debuted on Monday, September 18th after months of on-air promotion that started during the final weeks of Will & Grace. The first week of shows was filled with great guests like Will Ferrell, Patricia Heaton, Felicity Huffman, and even former W&G co-star Debra Messing. The behind-the-scenes talent was also very impressive. Chiefly the veteran producer of The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Corin Nelson, was on board as the show’s executive producer.
The early number of viewers were quite good for daytime but unfortunately they didn’t last. The show has slipped in the ratings and has averaged a 0.8 rating (approximately 890 thousand households) for the 3.5 months on the air — tied for last place as ranked against similar series. As a result, NBC Universal gave the talk show the pink slip.
In a written statement, the distributor said. “We are very proud of the hard work and effort that our staff put into the production of this show. And our host, Megan Mullally, is truly one of the most talented people in our business. We are grateful to have partnered with her on the show and are appreciative for her tireless commitment, effort and dedication to this endeavor.”
Megan added, “I am extremely proud of the show we created and am thankful for the passion and tireless efforts of (executive producer) Corin Nelson and the entire staff.”
Production was shut down immediately on Wednesday and viewers will be able to see a previously scheduled mix of both original and previously-aired episodes through the end of January.
That leaves the local stations with a hole in their daytime schedule. It’s been reported that NBC Universal executives are working with them to find “potential programming solutions” to fill the Megan slot. It’s unknown what shows the executives will be pushing for but, honestly, the affiliate ratings could only get better.