NBC has cancelled the Thursday airings of their low-rated legal series, The Firm, and sent it packing to Saturday nights at 9pm beginning February 11th.
The Firm follows attorney Mitch McDeere (Josh Lucas), his wife Abby (Molly Parker), and their daughter Claire (Natasha Calis), as they emerge from the witness protection program after 10 years. They relocate to Washington, DC to restart their lives but problems from the past quickly resurface. The show’s cast also includes Callum Keith Rennie, Juliette Lewis, Tricia Helfer, and Shaun Majumder.
NBC had high hopes for the legal drama but it stumbled in the ratings right from the start. The two-hour premiere of The Firm registered just a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 6.32 million viewers. The numbers got even worse once the show moved to Thursday nights and, for the past two weeks, has only mustered a 0.8 rating with fewer than three million total viewers.
It’s no surprise that NBC is banishing The Firm to Saturday nights with ratings like these. Grimm repeats will fill the Thursdays at 10pm timeslot for the immediate future. Starting March 1st, the peacock network’s new drama Awake will take over.
While it looks highly unlikely that NBC will purchase a second season of The Firm, it seems certain that viewers will get to see all 22 episodes of season one.
If The Firm had been a typical network show, the episode order probably would have been cut down to 13 installments because of the low ratings. However, NBC’s deal for The Firm is unique and a bit more like the one the network had for Merlin, the supernatural drama produced by the BBC.
Sony and Entertainment One partnered to produce The Firm, primarily for the overseas market. Thanks to pre-sales and Canadian production tax credits, the cost of producing the series was already paid for and NBC was able to pick up the show for a greatly reduced licensing fee, just like any other secondary buyer.
If The Firm had been a big success, NBC would have made quite a profit on the series. As things worked out, the network may still be making some money on the deal or at least hasn’t lost much.
Will there be a second season? That depends on Sony and Entertainment One, not NBC.
What do you think? Do you like The Firm? Do you think it should continue?
Image courtesy NBC.