TCA: Kathy Bates on NBC: ‘They Treated Us Like Shit’

kathy bates

Actress had salty words for the Peacock after her show 'Harry's Law' was canned after just two seasons

Kathy Bates had harsh words for the Peacock during the FX panel for “American Horror Story,” stating that NBC “disrespected” the now-defunct legal drama “Harry’s Law.”

“They disrespected us, and our seven to 11 million viewers,” the thesp angrily said to the TCA journos. “They treated us like shit and kicked us to the curb.”

The David E. Kelley drama, which bowed on NBC in January 2011 and starred Bates, was canceled after two seasons on the net. It averaged around 11.5 million viewers during its first run, and just under 9 million during its second. Show was also picked up several Emmy noms.

“I think they’re getting what they deserve this year,” Bates continued, referring to NBC’s slumping ratings and difficulty in launching new dramas. “Thank you.”

Bates, who also recurred on NBC’s “The Office” stars on the third season of FX anthology “American Horror Story.”

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  1. Tracy says:

    NBC treats everything that doesn’t appeal to brain-dead rednecks like crap. Look at how horribly they treated Hannibal. NO promotion whatsoever, and they went so far as to show a shitty idiotball game and cheat viewers out of the LAST EVER EPISODE. Now that they’ve thrown Hannibal away, NBC truly lives up to their moniker of “Nothing But Crap.” I’ve deleted them from my remote, and they won’t be missed, as Hannibal was the only thing they had worth watching anyway.

  2. Anita says:

    I liked the show the first year’ but they changed it the next year and it was not funny anymore. I like Kathey Bates, and I was sad to see that her talent was wasted on the show the second year.

  3. eqquesz says:



  5. boxermom says:

    Shame on NBC. Harry’s Law was a quality show . NBC probably has 3 shows a season worth watching !

  6. Dale Hickey says:

    That was a show that never had a disappointing or boring moment! I am truly saddened by its’ absence – it was an intelligent show that also brought forth laughter and appreciation. Kathy Bates is a star and television was blessed to have her presence! The Peacock is dying a slow death. Dale Hickey

  7. Rita Appell says:

    I think you are amazing in all of your
    We really enjoyed Harry’s Law and
    Will miss it and you!
    Rita Appell
    Birmingham, Al 35242

  8. Ronk says:

    NBC sucked until Harry’s Law! This was the only show that could draw me to to this lousy network!

  9. Bob C. says:

    It’s a tradition at NBC (Nincompoop Broadcasting Company) to treat its talent like shit. Leno and Bates are in good company. But not THAT company.

  10. NBC is not only to blame here. Cable and broadcast networks are showing their insecurity by making impulsive and reactionary programming moves; a sign of immaturity. The clamoring for ratings, the need to be edgy and the worry if a show is trending down, lead to hasty decisions made by inexperienced and young execs. Dramas in particular are rarely developed before they are pulled. Harry’s law was just getting good. The viewer needs more than one season or two, especially when viewership is over 8 million. Also, comedies, particularly sit-coms are pandering to the lowest common denominator and there are only a few left networks which speak to our intelligence as viewers. The executives need to calm down and hang on, giving intelligent programs time to blossom.

  11. lillie says:

    I like what’s happening to so-called Net work tv. They’re getting theor comeuppance. All 3 major networks are having problems because they don’t have the patience to stick with a series and wait until it finds its audience (Harry’s Law, Red Widow, a Gifted Man, Golden Boy, etc). Instead, they go with weak situation comedies and reality shows filled with talentless publicity seekers. It appears to be cable (HBO, ShoTime and others) that now appear to be drawing the greater viewing numbers and I say more power to them!

  12. With that sort of acclaim and decent ratings it does seem foolish to have canned the show. Gotta love Bates for being direct.

  13. Joan Weissman says:

    I loved that show. Never missed and episode. I wish another channel would pick it up or maybe cable..Well said Kathy……………..

  14. JOE S HILL says:

    Well said Kathy Bates,,NBC really needs to clean-up its act seriously,because their TV schedule is
    just so bland and bellow average,that its insulting! and i’m also angered by their cancelation of
    “HARRY’S LAW”-and it should’ve been picked-up by the other networks,the way “SOUTHLAND”
    was picked-up by TNT,after NBC passed on it! so just remember this Kathy Bates-NBC,which stands
    for “Nothing But Crap”!!

  15. Albert R. says:

    NBC, the same network that cancelled Star Trek and are now replacing Jay Leno. With decisions like these they won’t have to worry about my age group tuning in every night. Too many other good shows on other networks to watch who want my money to support their advertisers. Goodbye NBC. You used to be great. I loved Harry’s Law.

  16. Cheryl Markowitz says:

    “Harry’s Law with” was a fabulous show. Each show was done with successful drama, characters, connections and facts. Cancelling this was a tremendous error in NBC. Please bring this show back. Bates is an incredible actress and looked forward to each week. Do it now!!!!!

  17. Mary Murfitt says:

    It was a fantastic show! This obsession with young target audiences who don’t even watch network television is disgusting!!

  18. Ms.Bates HarrysLaw wasAgood show,dont let anyone tell you different.

  19. Sharee C Crossley says:

    Loved this show!!! But keep all of the Reality…

  20. JP says:

    It should be pointed out, instead of just mentioning the viewership, that although it had 7 to 11 million viewers, it did poorly in the target 18-49 demos, which are what ad rates are based off of and the reason it was cancelled. Kathy has every right to be upset, but given that this wasn’t one long quote of what Kathy said at TCA, the important details of what led to the cancellation should be mentioned. NBC would love a show with this many viewers, but they need it to have better demo ratings. Shows with less viewership are still on but they have better demo ratings than Harry’s Law did. I know, CBS does it, but CBS shows have twice the demo ratings of Harry’s Law, so really not the same. They would have cancelled this too.

  21. Carol Blakey says:

    Right on, Kathy! Whoever is in charge of NBC programming doesn’t have a clue about which shows to keep. A quality show like “Harry’s Law” is dumped, most likely because the audience was too “old.”. NBC would rather air something like that Eva Longoria dating show, which immediately crashed and burned.
    Mistake after mistake. Not to mention, in a different area, keeping that intolerable Matt Lauer.

  22. adimike55 says:

    So true. This was an excellent show that didn’t play to what the network felt was a “target audience”. Maybe forget micromanaging the audience and trust them to find great TV like this, NBC.

  23. RL says:

    Loved Harry’s Law ! Good to hear some honesty for once! Looking forward to AHS and Ms Bates!

  24. cadavra says:

    And the worst of it was that NBC actually admitted they cancelled it because young people weren’t watching. They deserve to be running behind Univision.

    • Candi Cazau says:

      Unfortunately the networks are now run by adolescents. I work with a very well known performer and when he has a meeting with a studio or network he stops at Toys R Us first. That just about says it all.

      Nothing stays the same but what has occurred at the Network level is ridiculous. It is sad. They cancel the entertaining and popular shows and replace with dribble. Hire me and I will turn things around in a heartbeat!

  25. SE says:

    It was a great show, but it wasn’t made available online and that’s the only way I watch shows these days. I remember being frustrated at not having access.

  26. Avid Reader says:

    It appealed to an older skewing demo, of which I am one, and that’s just not what the nets are looking for.

  27. Patrice says:

    The show was wonderful, inventive it’s first season. The second season retooling left the show limp; a retread of other drama shows instead of staying true to it’s roots. I was a big fan of the show first season, deleted it from Tivo the second.

  28. Dennis says:

    No mincing words for Kathy…I agree with her 100% That was one of the best shows on NBC
    Dont know what they been thinking,infact after watching some of NBC lately I dont believe they were thinking

  29. Mark Isenberg says:

    Good for Kathy Bates as most actors rarely bite the hand that airs them. In defense of NBC,they did give David E.Kelley a full season to find an audience but did not care enough to promote the show and when ratings numbers declined in the second season,they axed the program quickly. David E. Kelley does not succeed in everything as the recent TNT medical drama proved but almost everything he writes is worth checking out. Otherwise,he gets the business home from the little wife,Michelle Pfeiffer.

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