The alphabet network has pulled the Bob Saget sitcom after just four episodes. The show was attracting nearly 10 million viewers, so what’s the problem?
Surviving Suburbia centers around Steve and Annie Patterson (Bob Saget and Cynthia Stevenson), heads of a typical suburban family. But, unlike the idyllic sitcom dads of the past, Steve has a cynical view of everything around him. Others in the cast include Jared Kusnitz, G. Hannelius, Jere Burns, Dan Cortese, and Lorna Scott.
Originally slated to air on the CW, ABC picked up the sitcom for a midseason run. Suburbia debuted on April 6th to 12.16 million viewers and a 3.2/8 rating/share of the 18-49 demographic. The second installment slid to 11.25 million and a 3/7 in the demo. The most recent installment (on April 27th) hit a series low of 9.91 million and a 2.4/6 rating/share. While the decline certainly isn’t positive, the series still attracts more than many other shows on network TV. Why pull it?
Suburbia has the enviable fortune of airing out of the very popular Dancing with the Stars. Unfortunately, the sitcom doesn’t retain enough of that show’s audience. The most recent episode lost 50% of Stars’ viewership in both total viewers and the targeted demographic. That’s not good and ABC is likely convinced it can do better.
In fact, Suburbia was preempted this week and so Castle directly followed Stars. The schedule change helped give Castle a nice little bump in ratings.
As a result, the network has pulled Suburbia for the remainder of the May sweeps period but has said that the sitcom will return on Wednesday, May 27th. The show is still scheduled to conclude its first season on July 1st but, because of the scheduling changes, there will still be a couple episode left unaired. ABC may or may not air them at a later date.
Though Suburbia’s renewal is certainly still a possibility, this doesn’t bode well for the sitcom’s chances for a second year. ABC will announce its 2009 – 2010 schedule on May 19th. What do you think? Is it worth saving?