Though the CBS 1970’s series didn’t maintain a very large audience, the viewers Swingtown did attract are very devoted. Many people have expressed great disappointment over the cancellation of the series after only one short season of 13 episodes. One particular group of people however couldn’t be happier about Swingtown’s demise and wants to take credit for it.
Set in the Summer of 1976, Swingtown follows the changing lives of three families in suburban Chicago. The show stars Molly Parker, Jack Davenport, Grant Show, Lana Parrilla, Josh Hopkins, Miriam Shor, Shanna Collins, Aaron Christian Howles, Brittany Robertson, Michael Rady, Nick Benson, and Kate Norby.
Critical and viewer reception for Swingtown was mixed and the pilot debuted to fewer than 8.6 million viewers and a 2.5/7 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic. The ratings for subsequent episodes dropped from there and CBS eventually shifted the series to a little-watched Saturday night timeslot.
Though the ratings were too low for a network program, CBS tried in vain to find another outlet for the drama. Though the show’s fate was considered a done deal months earlier, CBS president Nina Tassler confirmed Swingtown’s cancellation last month. She is proud of the series and blames it’s failure in part to last year’s writers strike.
Soonafter Tassler made that announcement, the Parents Television Council (PTC) issued a statement applauding the show’s demise. The organization also claims that the show failed because the PTC and its members contacted Swingtown advertisers and urged them to pull their sponsorships.
In a written statement, PTC President Tim Winter said, “On behalf of the nation’s children and families, the PTC applauds and celebrates the removal of Swingtown from the public airwaves. But let’s be clear about why the program was pulled from the schedule: It had nothing to do with the writer’s strike and everything to do with the program’s lack of sponsors. CBS’ claim that Swingtown was a victim of the strike is nothing but PR spin to conceal what really happened.”
What do you think? Is the PTC overestimating their influence or are their actions responsible for Swingtown’s demise?
Image courtesy CBS.