Network TV giveth and taketh away: ABC pulled the final plug Thursday on critically acclaimed but low-rated drama “Karen Sisco,” while NBC gave early full season orders to “Las Vegas” and “American Dreams.”
“Sisco” has been off-duty since November, when the net pulled the show due to low numbers.
A disappointing ratings performer in its original Wednesday 10 p.m. slot, “Sisco” nonetheless scored the most critical praise of any frosh ABC show this past fall. At the time it yanked “Sisco,” ABC said it had every intention to bring back the show in a new timeslot.
“Rather than give up, we’re going to complete production on the remaining episodes and aggressively relaunch the series,” ABC Entertainment prexy Susan Lyne said in November. “We’re hopeful that this course of action will result in the show becoming as popular with viewers as it is with critics and ABC executives.”
Producers Universal Network TV and Jersey TV were set to begin production next week on “Sisco’s” final three episodes of the season.
But insiders said Alphabet execs weren’t happy with the show’s first returning script — and decided to cut their losses.
The show, from Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, John Landgraf, Bob Brush and Michael Dinner, starred Carla Gugino as a tough U.S. marshal in Miami.
Net had aired seven segs of “Sisco”; three additional episodes are already in the can. There’s no word on whether they’ll ever see the light of day.
Meanwhile, Peacock ordered 22 episodes of frosh entry “Las Vegas” and soph drama “American Dreams” for the 2004-05 season.
“These are two shows that have performed well for us this season and two shows we believe in, so there was no reason to wait,” said NBC Entertainment prexy Jeff Zucker.
Zucker said he also gave the early greenlight to give the show’s producers more time to prepare for next fall. NBC plans to launch its season early next August to take advantage of the promo push from its Summer Olympics coverage.
“We wanted everyone to have as much of a head start as possible,” he said.
Season to date, “Vegas,” from NBC Studios and DreamWorks Television, has averaged a solid 4.6 rating and 11 share in adults 18-49.
The Gary Scott Thompson drama features James Caan as the head of surveillance for a Vegas casino, and Josh Duhamel as his protege.
“Gary Scott Thompson more than delivered for us. It’s a great, fun ride,” Zucker said. “It’s been a real tentpole for us on Monday night.”
“American Dreams,” meanwhile, has averaged a 3.2/8 in adults 18-49. The Universal Network TV/NBC Studios drama revolves around a Philadelphia teenager and “American Bandstand” dancer (Brittany Snow) and her family as they live through the turbulent 1960s.
“It’s a show we’re incredibly proud of, a show that’s dealing with some of biggest issues on television,” Zucker said.