It's that time of the year again -- time to give thanks (or cry!) for the loss of certain TV programs. Most recently, ABC has chosen to cancel two of its most poorly performing new shows, 666 Park Avenue and Last Resort. If you want to get into the why's of the cancellations, look no further.
Last Resort: Why Was It Cancelled?
Last Resort, a nuclear submarine thriller-drama from The Shield creator Shawn Ryan, had its work cut out for it from the start. The show, which is about a US nuclear submarine that is forced to go rogue after it's set up by someone from within the US government (presumably), was slotted to open Thursday nights at 8 PM -- a thankless task for a new series. The fact that its numbers couldn't reach what ABC execs wanted for the time slot makes a lot of sense.
Last Resort: Quality Control
It's a shame that Last Resort was cancelled, since the program -- which starred Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman was actually quite thrilling and well-written. The plot, which features a mystery regarding US nuclear launch codes and a nuclear attack on Pakistan that may or may not have been legitimately ordered by the government, was complex and, frankly, ambitious for a network program. The show was definitely compelling, and it's too bad we won't get to learn more about the clues to unlock its mysteries.
Last Resort: Why It Didn't Find an Audience
Ultimately, Last Resort was a victim of a few compounded factors. For one, the program was slotted at Thursdays at 8, so it had no tried-and-true prime-time lead-in. Secondly, it was on ABC, which typically skews toward women -- and the program was very much a guys' show. Third, the show was complicated, with a lot of plot that required being worked through and untangled -- these ambitious shows are often not what big network viewers are looking for in order to unwind on a Thursday evening.
666 Park Avenue: Why Was It Cancelled?
David Wilcox's 666 Park Avenue was cancelled for one reason, the ever-present one: ratings! The show simply never did well with them, constantly struggling to find a major viewership in its Sunday 10 PM slot. Even though it had the lead-in Revenge, which has become a hit, to help it out, it averaged only 5 million viewers per episode.
666 Park Avenue: Quality Control
Unlike Last Resort, 666 Park Avenue did not do well with critics at all. Criticized for being soapy and cheesy, the series -- which was about a cursed New York apartment building (aren't they all?) -- was way too over-the-top to play as serious horror, and not over-the-top enough to be any sort of campy fun. In the end, it suffered in a grey zone of absurdity.
666 Park Avenue: Why It Didn't Find an Audience
Ultimately, 666 Park Avenue simply wasn't typical Sunday evening viewing -- it felt as if it should have been playing on daytime TV, if at all. Terry O'Quinn and Vanessa Williams never came across as particularly compelling, and without any really interesting characters to root for or get invested in, there simply was no hook for a committed viewership.
There you have it -- two more bite the dust. One of these shows didn't deserve its fate, the other very much did. What do you all think -- agree? Disagree? Let us know!