Over the weekend, Brooke Shields, star of NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, said that reports of the series’ demise were greatly exaggerated. She told US Weekly, “They’re not breaking down the sets. We’re still working. We still have more to do, so it’s erroneously presented that we’ve been cancelled, thank God.”
What’s going on? Well, there haven’t been big changes to the TV show’s fate but some developments may give Jungle fans some hope.
Shields and company are indeed finishing up episode 13 of season two this week. NBC did not shut down production of Jungle but have yet to order any more either. The show was performing poorly on Wednesday nights and was moved to Fridays where it did even worse than its predecessor in the timeslot, Life.
Last week, NBC said that they wouldn’t be ordering any further episodes, effectively cancelling the series. Today, that stance seems to have softened a bit. Part of that change is due to the outcry from Jungle’s viewers. The online petition has gained over 1,500 entries in less than a week and continues to grow at a speedy pace. What’s more, NBC has been bombarded by letters and emails as well as tubes of lipstick (which are conveniently cheap and easy to mail).
Though recent history has repeatedly shown the networks that a passionate group of viewers doesn’t translate into big ratings, NBC’s viewership as a whole isn’t very good. An outpouring of fan support is likely making them reconsider their options.
Last Friday’s ratings are also a bit encouraging. The most recent episode of Jungle drew 17% more viewers in the 18-49 demographic than the previous week’s episode which had grown 20% in the demo.
The co-chairman of NBC, Ben Silverman, said today that the network is committed to finishing out Jungle’s 13 episode season. Silverman says that he will order additional installments if the show “grows more.” Working against the show’s chances are the fact that it doesn’t perform well in reruns.
Unfortunately, if the recent ratings are the start of a promising, upward trend, it’s about to be interrupted. Jungle is set to air this Friday but it’ll be off the schedule for two weeks after that.
Unless a series has great momentum already, any kind of hiatus means that most viewers will forget about a show — out of sight and out of mind. Then, the holidays are upon us and viewing habits get all mixed up. That’s bad news for future Jungle ratings and the show’s future — news that fans of the series won’t want. Stay tuned!