A couple months ago, NBC premiered a new legal TV series from David E. Kelley called Harry’s Law. The series started out decently in the ratings but has fallen quite a bit since then. Tonight is the season finale. Will it be back for season two or end up cancelled?
Harry’s Law revolves around Harriet “Harry” Korn (Kathy Bates), a cranky former patent lawyer. She’s abruptly fired from a big firm, forcing Harry to search for a fresh start. She finds it when she meets Malcolm Davies (Aml Ameen), a college student who desperately needs her help and ends up working for her. A young legal hotshot named Adam Branch (Nate Corddry) accidentally hits Harry and gives up his corporate job to join the team. With the help of Harry’s footwear-obsessed assistant, Jenna (Brittany Snow), they open for business as Harriet’s Law and Fine Shoes.
The NBC series debuted in January with a 2.2 rating in the prized 18-49 demographic and 11.07 million viewers. That was an improvement of nearly 50% in the demo when compared to the last original episode of Chase, the previous timeslot occupant and NBC has had a hard time filling that spot for quite some time. The second episode only came down 5% to a 2.1 rating and 10.43 million. Week three held steady. It was looking like NBC had a hit — or as close as the network seems to get these days.
Then, the fourth installment took a big tumble, dropping 19% to a 1.7 demo rating and 9.22 million. It stayed at that level for a couple weeks, popped up to a 1.8 rating, and has most recently been holding steady at a 1.6 rating. That’s pretty close to what Chase had been doing and that’s all but cancelled.
Tonight marks the twelfth and final episode of the season and Harry’s Law is averaging a 1.8 rating and 9.54 million viewers. It’s the 10th highest rated scripted series on the network, tied with Chuck. On the other big networks, the series would certainly doomed but NBC has lots of ratings problems.
In truth, based on the demo numbers alone, NBC shouldn’t bring back this series for a second season. However, though it ranks towards the bottom of the demo rankings, it’s the most-watched TV show on the network. Though that doesn’t count for much, considering the state of NBC, it may be enough to get Harry’s Law a renewal.
On the other hand, with David E. Kelley likely having another series on NBC next season — the new Wonder Woman — network execs might prefer that he focus on that one and let Harry’s Law go. If they don’t like the Wonder Woman pilot, that may be enough to save Kathy Bates and company.
NBC probably won’t reveal the fate of Harry’s Law until the advertiser upfronts on May 16th. We’ll keep you posted.
What do you think? Should Harry’s Law be renewed or cancelled? If it does comes back, how would you suggest they change it to attract more viewers?
Image courtesy NBC.