The dramatic series The Nine, about a group of bank hold-up hostages, was pulled after just seven episodes on ABC in November due to low ratings. Reportedly six other episodes were shot but left unaired. ABC Entertainment President Stephen McPhearson was reportedly a big fan of the show and the network maintained that the series would return. As recent as last week, that was reinforced when McPhearson told Media Village’s editor Jacki Garfinkel, “I love the show, but honestly we don’t have a set game plan right now.” We now have some additional information.
At the annual Television Critics Association (TCA) tour in Pasadena, McPhearson addressed questions from critics about The Nine. He told the audience that the network may air the remaining six episodes sometime in this season — likely before May. Unfortunately, the show is almost certainly cancelled; production has been completed and no further episodes have been ordered.
In a lunch with writer Joel Keller, McPherson shared what additional seasons would have held for the drama. The story plan was to reveal the mysteries of the robbery by the end of the first season of 22 episodes. Then, the ramifications of the robbery on the characters would continue to be examined in the following season(s). The series was reportedly based on a real case involving a couple on their first date. The two were attacked and robbed and the experience made such a strong bond between them that they later married.
McPhearson also shared that, though the ratings were a disappointment, they wouldn’t have done anything differently on series like The Nine. “The shows were incredibly well-produced. We loved the shows creatively. I don’t look back in kind of hindsight and say, ‘Boy, we should have done this differently, that differently,’ about those shows — may have just been timing.” Except perhaps a show’s title.
McPhearson also said he believed that part of the reason why The Nine didn’t premiere stronger was the show’s name. It was originally supposed to be called “Nine Lives,” which he thinks would have suited the storyline better. “The Nine” presumably made the show seem too ambiguous to viewers.
The big question is, “In the remaining episodes, will we find out what happened in the bank?” The answer is, unfortunately, “No.” Because the episodes were already completed, all of the questions won’t be resolved. McPherson shared, “It wasn’t designed to end at the end of the 13, so it doesn’t answer that specific question.”
It was hinted that perhaps ABC may work with The Nine creators Hank and K.J. Steinberg to offer fans some additional information on what might have been. That could include releasing synopses of the four scripts that were ordered back in late October 2006 but were never shot (in a similar vein to what CBS gave Smith fans).
UPDATE: On February 28, 2007, MediaVillage reported that an ABC source shared privately that The Nine has indeed been cancelled.