The Nine: ABC Pulls the Struggling Drama

The cast of The Nine on ABCIt seemed like only a matter of time before one of the networks would pull another one of its struggling serial dramas. Now, ABC’s The Nine has been yanked from the primetime schedule. Will it return?

The Nine was billed as a complex character drama series that unraveled the mystery of what transpired during a bank robbery turned 52-hour hostage situation in Los Angeles. Chronological flashbacks of what happened inside the bank opened each episode and was followed by how the harrowing experience impacted the series’ key nine characters in the present day. Their relationships to each other continued to intertwine, deepen and complicate their lives.

The Nine starred television veterans like Tim Daly, Kim Raver, Scott Wolf and Chi McBride. It debuted on Wednesday, October 4th, following the third season debut of Lost. It attracted strong ratings of 11.9 million viewers, giving ABC its strongest ratings in that timeslot in almost a year and handily beat NBC’s Kidnapped (only 5.1 million viewers). Unfortunately, The Nine has been losing viewers ever since. More specifically, it has been losing a significant number of audience members from its lead-in show. Lost has averaged 17.7 million viewers while less than half of that number (approximately 8.6 million people) stuck around to watch The Nine each week. Last week, without the benefit of the Lost lead-in, the number of Nine viewers shrank to only 4.1 million. It comes as no surprise that ABC has pulled The Nine after seven episodes.

Though ABC is not officially calling this a cancellation, the show has been pulled from the schedule effective immediately. A special edition of 20/20 will air in its place on Wednesday, November 29th and Primetime will take its place after that.

Will it return? Hard to say. No return date has been set which makes it a return unlikely, especially since serial dramas depend on audiences remembering events in previous episodes. However, ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson is said to be a big supporter of the show and is frustrated by its ratings problems — giving the show a better chance of returning.

ABC initially ordered 13 episodes of The Nine and then, on October 27th, ordered four additional scripts. It should be noted that The Nine has not received an order for a full season of 22 episodes (unlike other struggling shows), indicating an overall lack of faith by ABC. Its unclear how many episodes have been shot thus far or if production has been halted. A second season seems very unlikely and nearly impossible.

ABC does make many of its shows available online and via The NineiTunes so it is probable that the remaining episodes will be available online at some point in the future. TV Series Finale home page

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28 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Joey Self says

    I view a show like THE NINE more as a mini-series. A network should commit to telling the story. I think the first scripts went slow because it wasn’t clear if this was going to be a series that went into a second season as LOST did. If the network committed to the concept that it was only going to be a 22 week deal, the scripts could be written as such, the story told and the series end as mini-series do after the allotted time.

  2. Susan Udelsman says

    The Nine was a very good show with a great cast. Don’t leave us hanging! What happened in the bank? The people who invested time watching the series deserve to know!

  3. says

    Terribly ironic how I actually posted way back, before this very extraordinary new series “The Nine” ever even aired its first episode, that perhaps a petition to save it should be prematurely started. Wish that had only been a joke. Fans of “The Nine” are now experiencing a type of deja vu as we have not forgotten about last year’s “Eyes”. “Eyes” was a great show. “The Nine” is also a great show. What isn’t so great, however, is the network’s refusal to acknowledge the more mature and sophisticated television viewers (and I’m not necessarily referring to age here). “The Nine” is a show for adults, unlike “Lost” which is geared towards a younger audience. It’s bad enough that ABC decided to schedule “The Nine” right after “Lost” since the two shows do not have a similar age-range audience. Worse yet is that this same network decided to put “The Nine” in the same ill-fated time slot as they did last year with “Eyes”. Will someone please tell Tim Daly that ABC can not be trusted to air his shows and that his numerous fans have had it with this network. Supernanny and Wife Swap are airing and “The Nine” is on hiatus? I think I’m too grown up for ABC. If “The Nine” does not return then they’ve lost me as a viewer forever (and I’m not the only one). C’mon ABC…Change the night if you want to but Bring back “The Nine” and give intelligent adult viewers something to watch!

  4. Kuli Mall says

    ABC are nuts pulling this show.
    If the American audience don’t like it there are plenty of people in the UK like me who will watch it.
    I like the interplay of emotions in it.
    I think its a very clever show.
    ps – Lost season 3 has lost the plot!

  5. Heidi says

    I wasn’t surprised this show was pulled. The episodes were very slow and the characters (other than Tim Daly, Kim Raver, and John Billingsley) lacked personality. The first two episodes had me interested but the last one, I actually TiVo’d half an hour into it just because direction of the stories almost put me to sleep.

    In all honesty, if I see another episode where Jessica Collin’s character cries again and mentions her baby, I’m going to scream…not really. I actually don’t care.

    On with the next show.

  6. Nine Lives It Isn't says

    Good! I am glad it’s being pulled. I tried getting into this show, but could not stand all the whining being done by the former hostages, however, I like that Tim Daly and would like to see him appear somewhere else.

  7. C Mullen says

    I am so disappointed to hear The Nine was pulled. I am losing faith in ABC. First they play up the new LOST season, and end up puttting it on hiatus after how many episodes???…4 or 5? Is that what a season is? Next, I am totally hooked on the Nine to find out they pulled it. Maybe I’ll have to switch Networks so I can actually find out what happens next in my favorite show.

  8. A Kovacs says

    We are so terribly upset that The Nine is not on anymore. We were so involved and interested in the characters and the plot – It was a very well written series and this is horrible that you are not allowing it to go on. It is so unfair to the viewers. Please bring this series back!

  9. says

    Trying to find more supporters to help save The Nine!

    At, you can Sound Off and they will send your comments to the network. They have done this before, and protested Showtime’s pull of Dead Like Me off the air. Doesn’t always work, but it could help. They have a poll on the site right now about whether or not The Nine should be saved, so if you love the show, go and vote, and they will send the results to ABC.

  10. Thomas & Marie Townsend says

    We are very disappointed that The Nine has been pulled. We enjoyed the way the characters were being developed and the story unfolded in each episode.

  11. Cathy Cook says

    I am so sad to lern that it has been pulled. I coldn’t figure out what was going on. I was a faithful viewer and think it is a really good show. One of the few interesting new shows on the air this year. I hope so much that ABC will make the right decision and give this show a chance.

  12. sr says

    “the nine” was getting a bit slow but i am starting to seriously resent networks pulling the plug on a serial that millions of viewers have invested quite a bit of time in. who in the world would go see a movie if they advertised that they lost the last reel?

    answer: no one

    personally – i was totally into “invasion”. way more than lost. i really wanted to see what happened to those characters.

    at the very least they should always give any serial a two hour finale to bring it to some kind of emotionally satisfying conclusion.

  13. Del says

    It’s too bad they are cancelling this show. I was one of the few faithful watchers of the show, and I really enjoyed it. I hope it’s released on DVD at some point, because I will buy it.

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