Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, NBC has cancelled its Champions TV show after one season. The low-rated comedy, from creators Charlie Grandy and Mindy Kaling, premiered on March 8, 2018 and never quite lived up to its name in the Nielsen ratings race. Reportedly, the cast options will expire, so any hope for a second season elsewhere, would mean making new deals with the players.
An NBC sitcom, Champions stars Anders Holm, Andy Favreau, J.J. Totah, Fortune Feimster, Ginger Gonzaga, Mouzam Makkar, Yassir Lester, and Robert Costanzo, with Kaling guest starring. The comedy centers on Vince (Holm), a former high school baseball star who abandoned his aspirations to run his family’s Brooklyn gym with his younger brother, Matthew (Favreau). When Vince’s old fling, Priya (Kaling) drops off their teenaged son, Michael (Totah), so the boy can attend a New York school for the performing arts, Vince and Matthew must rise to the challenge of providing him a home, despite their utter lack of parenting experience.
Champions: A Look at the Ratings
The first season of Champions averaged a 0.47 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 1.92 million viewers. By both measures Champions is one of the lowest rated scripted NBC TV shows (to have premiered during the regular season) so the cancellation makes sense.
The call came down to the wire, with the options on the cast expiring this weekend. I hear there had been discussions with Netflix about picking up the series.
The streaming giant has international rights to Champions. I’d heard that the Netflix pact stemmed from the close relationship between Champions co-creator/co-star Mindy Kaling and Netflix’s Bela Bajaria, who shepherded Kaling’s The Mindy Project at Universal TV, and that the international rights deal helped seal Champions‘ series order in May 2017.
Netflix will continue to carry the show internationally — it debuted on the streaming platform June 12 — but I hear the Internet network has opted not to pick up Champions for next season. There are still discussions about the show’s future elsewhere though I hear the options on the cast are not being extended, so if a new home is found, new deals with the actors have to be made.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the Champions TV series? Should NBC have cancelled or renewed this TV show for a second season?