The Philanthropist: Sinking Ratings; Keep It or Cancel It?

The PhilanthropistAnother of NBC’s new Summer series, The Philanthropist, got off to a moderately successful start in the ratings but has been losing steam quickly. Should NBC show some charity and keep it around or should they just cancel it already?

The Philanthropist tells the story of Teddy Rist (James Purefoy), a billionaire playboy who is haunted by the death of his only child. After rescuing a young boy from a hurricane, Rist begins using his wealth to help those in need. The show also features the talents of Jesse L. Martin, Neve Campbell, Michael K. Williams, Lindy Booth, Bonnie Henna, Dominique McElligott, and James Albrecht.

The drama premiered on June 24th and attracted an average of 7.41 million viewers and a 2/6 rating/share of the 18-49 demographic. For a Summer series, that looks like pretty decent performance on the surface but less so when you look at the specifics.

Should NBC cancel Philanthropist?

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The show lost 35% of the audience from the last half hour of the successful America’s Got Talent lead-in. What’s more, many viewers tuned out before the premiere of Philanthropist was over. That’s not a good sign and a sure indication that those viewers probably won’t be back the following week.

The second week, the Philanthropist ratings dropped significantly to 5.69 million viewers and a 1.4/4 rating/share in the demo. Week three fell further and by week four, Philanthropist fell to 4.28 million and a dismal 1.1/4. Last week’s viewer numbers perked up a little to 4.74 million but the all-important demo remained dismally the same.

With numbers like these, there’s not much hope that NBC will feel charitable and renew the series for a second year. On the positive side, with just three episodes left to air, the network will surely let the short season play out.

What do you think? Is the show worth saving or should NBC have cut their losses and cancelled it already?

Canceled and renewed TV show

236 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. annonymous says

    I think that The Philanthropist is a good show. A show that doesn’t show a rich person doing something stupid with their money, and that not all rich people are stingy with their money either. The Philanthropist is a real life show about someone that uses their money for something good. and to see that teddy goes without consent from the company to help these people is a good change in tv

  2. Anonymous says

    I deeply enjoy watching The Philanthropist. This series shows that not all rich people are stingy with their money. “Teddy” gives his money to needy people and i like watching about people that give their money to people that really need it. this is a very interresting show that i believe should stay on air for a long time.

  3. Lauren says

    I really love this show because it gives us insight to real world struggles. What’s better than a show that teaches, inspires and has great motorcycle chases through the African jungle? I hope NBC gives this show a chance.

  4. Cari Hoyt says

    The Philanthropist was the best show to ever hit the TV. The messages were loud and clear, the global concerns were accurately portrayed, the cinematography was magnificent, acting truly believable, the star was handsome and desirable. I aligned myself with global outreach concerns after watching two episodes yet I went on to watch them all and tell everyone about the show. This is what the WORLD needs! It’s difficult to air a show in the summer when everyone is out, if you had aired in the fall it would have been the home-run of all time. Bring it back and let the world know in a BIG way that it is coming!

  5. abbey says

    Please don’t cancel this show. I watched every episode on I always wondered if ratings took into account online viewers, etc.

    But I loved this show. Couldn’t wait until I had the time to sneak in an episode.

    I agree with some of the sentiments stated before. I’d rather see stupid drivelous reality shows go by the wayside. Having good acting and truly awesome performances is ALWAYS more entertaining.

  6. Palomino(D) says

    I think they should extend the show, even it’s only for educational purposes. We are all so wrapped up with the war on terrorism, with the bombings and shooting of troops ins Iraq and Afghanistan, that we forget there are a lot more hot spots. I’m not saying to lessen the efforts on bringing down those weirdos, but we shouldn’t forget about the other places either. This series is one way to do it. That’s why I say: Keep it on!

  7. says

    We love this show. It was the one show of the summer that keep my husband and I excited about what would happen the following Wednesday. Always an adventure. Please bring it back for a second season!

  8. Sharon (Oxnard, CA) says

    Just heard The Philanthropist was canceled. Really?!? I love the concept, the characters, the global view. As with the previous comments, reality shows, cheaply done, are just that — cheap, and not worth my time. No wonder people are switching from the big networks to smaller cable channels with real programming.

  9. Tina says

    I don’t normally watch anything other than the Home improvement shows on HGTV. The reality shows that are on all the major stations, CBS, NBC and ABC are much more than I can stomache and the news is always depressing. So when I accidentally came across The Philanthropist, I was intrigued. For this show to take me away from viewing all the shows that most interested me, says alot. James Purefoy is easy on the eyes plus the scenery of all the different locations was beautiful. I like the chemistry between all the characters. I would hate to see this show cancelled!!!

  10. Ashley (Adelaide, Australia) says

    Please please keep this show. I fear it may suffer the same fate as Eli Stone … both shows challenging viewers to think a bit more intelligently … away from the “which singer/dancer/juggler/rockstar should I vote for” mentality that is taking over TV these days. The Philanthropist is a show that appeals to a wide range of viewers, and I for one, certainly feel inspired to make the world a better place, after just watching this show.
    Please keep it running!!

  11. Todd Dean says

    I am not a regular TV watcher, but I have been for The Philanthopist. It is the only show that kept me at home during the summer to watch tv. Please keep it running.

  12. says

    Ordinarily I let the chips fall where they may when it comes to the fate of a pilot TV shows… but after seeing what the grassroots campaign did for our President, I decided to be like Teddy Rist and prove that one person can make a difference. Over the years NBC has had some good programming but they and the other networks have become lazy and let reality shows take over because they are so cheap to produce. You need to know that there is a HUGE audience (with wallets full of cash that could be spent of products that associate themselves with this show) that is completely underserved with the current line up of network shows.
    Face it – there is a lot of shows on TV that could and should be cancelled, don’t let the Philantropist be one of them! SAVE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

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