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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?


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{ 236 comments… read them below or add one }

Denise March 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

NBC you really have a truly substantive show. I absolutely enjoyed watching the series it made you think.
Your demographics weren’t all that they should have been because you lost your audience by 1) moving the days and time slots; 2) it was a summer series and really is a series that belongs in the fall; 3) you did not know how to position it in the line up.
The PHILANTHROPIST deserves a 9pm or 10pm timeslot. On a Tues or Wednesday. Once the show gets a solid audience this show could easily go head to head with CBS’s the MENTALIST.

The writing, the cast, directing every aspect of this program was excellent! Please bring this show back. I enjoyed this program! Please bring the show back.


pj March 9, 2010 at 10:46 pm

KEEP IT! I am so sick of the only thing being on is so called reality shows that are anything but realistic and so friggin boring! it seems like every show I enjoy is going off or canceled. Ugly betty canceled, Eastwick canceled, lost ending, the philanthropist canceled


Karen February 24, 2010 at 12:41 am

Please keep this show on TV. I’d hate to see it go. Very entertaining with a good theme. Please, really don’t take it off the air.


Chheang February 12, 2010 at 8:58 am

Keep the show! Yeah, my guess is no one will read this, but I thought I’d post anyhow in the rare chance that some network exec really cares about posts.

Anyhow, I’m glad to finally see a show that actually portrays true reality TV… sh!t happens all over the world and we (Americas) live in our little bubbles. I’m glad there’s a show that has my friends asking “really, is that really happening out there???”

Scary thought… “it is!”


leah805 February 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm

The Philanthropist: Is one of the best , former, shows on TV. Lets face it. NO ONE from the networks is reading what we are saying out here. How many postings does there need to be with the viewers opinions, talking about the shows we love, before NBC sees the solution to the ” extra ” 5 hours of prime time they have? Bring back this popular and timely relevant show. Bring back another popular show, Merlin. Two nights are covered. . Make the fans happy and show that NBC listens to what teh people actually want to watch. We can only hope so.


ang February 3, 2010 at 6:22 pm

this is a great show—- i hope that we can have a season 2. nbc wake up


Sandy January 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm

YES! I think this is a great summer series. Like the mole or wipe out. It’s sooo much better than the dating “reality” or talent shows. I really hope someone notices this post at NBC. I admit, it may not fair well during normal season but for th summers it would be such a great alternative!!!!


Debra January 28, 2010 at 10:09 pm

YES! This was the only show on air that had substance!


Yvette January 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Considering they put this show on in mid-summer when many people are traveling or doing whatever we do in the summer time, it wasn’t given a chance. Why not put on for the fall??


Leigh January 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Please bring back the philanthropist! It was my favorite show over the summer, and I was hoping for season two to start sometime late this spring!


Lakinca January 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I am with Al. What is up with NBC?? Anything good they have….. they cancel. Poor Jay Leno got moved and now he is suffering, Medium went to CBS and continues to be successful. . Reality TV is not for me either. Let me hit my book self.


Al January 3, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I just don’t get it! NBC comes up with a winner and I’m hearing talk of cancellation!! Who’s making those dumb decisions at NBC ? or is it The Spoiled Rotten Teenage Kid’s of execs who are hell bent on persecuting us with Reality TV ?! I’m gonna start reading more books.


Rob January 1, 2010 at 9:43 pm

This is one of the best shows on TV. The shows is original and clever. NBC usually makes very dumb decisions but here is their chance to keep a good thing going.


edgar warp December 29, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I just found out about this show. Very cool show. I hope they bring it back. They should invest in advertising this show. Word Of mouth would help to so spread the word to tune in.


Julia Young December 23, 2009 at 9:13 am

KEEP THIS SHOW!! There aren’t very many shows on nowdays that one can watch without cringing at some point. Very good content — informative and good story lines. Hate to lose this one.


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