×

NBC swallows its toon ‘Pride’

Peacock puts hold on pricey lion skein

NBC has temporarily silenced its lion’s roar, shelving DreamWorks Animation’s ultrapricey “Father of the Pride” for the November sweeps.

Move isn’t the same as a flat-out cancellation, and NBC execs insist the $2 million per-episode “Pride” — personally championed by NBC U Television Group topper Jeff Zucker as a cure to network TV’s sitcom blues — hasn’t been killed. They also say “Pride” will be back come December with its six remaining unaired episodes.

Still, it’s never a good sign when a net pulls a frosh show in advance of the first sweeps period of the season. And NBC last month stated frosh actioner “Hawaii” was simply going on hiatus and would continue in production — then two days later announced it had changed its mind and was canceling “Hawaii” after all.

Despite a huge promo push during NBC’s Olympics coverage, “Pride,” which will end up costing NBC more than $25 million, has failed to generate anywhere close to the same audience enthusiasm as such out-of-the box hits as ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost.”

Skein bowed to solid numbers but has trailed downward most weeks since. Most recent episode scored a weak 2.8/7 among adults 18-49, even with its best-yet lead-in from “The Biggest Loser” — leading to speculation that “Pride” was history (Daily Variety, Oct. 28).

NBC weeks ago ordered nine additional scripts, but with a minimum nine-month lead time needed to produce new episodes, it’s been clear for some time that “Pride” would be off the air for the rest of this season after its initial burst of 13 segs. Peacock execs have stayed mum on the matter, perhaps not wanting to make any noise about the show as DreamWorks Animation was launching its IPO.

DreamWorks won’t lose a dime if “Pride” lives or dies, however. Unusual deal for the show has NBC paying all the upfront costs surrounding the skein — around $2 million an episode for 13 episodes, as well as extra coin for the backup scripts.

That’s one reason NBC might not be willing to be patient with “Pride,” which until last week had been chugging along with decent though hardly spectacular numbers.

If “Pride” dies, NBC will have just three established comedies in its lineup: Vets “Scrubs” and “Will & Grace” and frosh “Joey.” By comparison, ABC has eight, while CBS and Fox will air six laffers during sweeps.

“Pride” is preempted tonight for NBC News election coverage. It will then be replaced by three “supersized” editions of NBC’s just-launched reality skein “The Biggest Loser,” which will run from 8-9:30 p.m. on Nov. 9, 16 and 23 and from 9-10 p.m. on Nov. 30.

“Loser’s” ratings soared in the 9 p.m. hour when NBC aired a 90-minute premiere episode of the skein.

In other NBC scheduling news, Peacock is expected to air new drama “LAX” just twice in its new Wednesday slot during the sweeps. If the skein bombs again this Wednesday, it’s possible the show could be pulled completely.

More TV

  • 'Americans,' 'Versace,' 'Dannemora' Lead Critics' Choice

    'Americans,' 'Gianni Versace,' 'Escape at Dannemora' Lead Critics' Choice Awards TV Nominations

    FX’s “The Americans” and “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” along with Showtime’s “Escape at Dannemora,” led the Broadcast Television Journalists Assn.’s nominations for the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards, it was revealed Monday. Joining “The Americans” in the best drama series category was “Better Call Saul” (AMC), “The Good Fight” (CBS All [...]

  • Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard

    New 'Star Trek' Series to Shoot in California, Selected for Tax Credit

    CBS’s new “Star Trek” series, with Patrick Stewart reprising the role of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, will shoot in California and receive a $15.6 million production tax credit. The California Film Commission announced Monday that the untitled “Star Trek” series and eight other TV series have been selected for the latest tax credit allocations totaling $90 [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    Netflix Orders 'Queen Sono,' Its First African Original Series

    Netflix has ordered its first African original series, “Queen Sono,” a drama about a secret agent who fights crime while dealing with crises in her personal life. The series will launch globally in 2019. “Queen Sono” stars veteran South African actress Pearl Thusi, who tweeted in an emotional video Monday that she “cannot wait for…every woman on [...]

  • Outlander 406

    'Outlander' Recap: Jamie Encounters William Again in 'Blood of My Blood'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Blood Of My Blood,” the sixth episode of “Outlander” Season 4. The action in “Blood of My Blood” picked up almost immediately after the previous week’s episode, as evidenced by the fact that Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) was still staying with Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and [...]

  • The Flash -- "Elseworlds, Part 1"

    'Elseworlds, Part 1' Recap: Barry Allen and Oliver Queen Swap Skills, Visit Superman

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 1,” the first part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 9. After past crossovers that introduced beloved characters’ doppelgangers, a wedding and death, “Elseworlds,” the fifth annual “Arrowverse” event, had a lot to which to live up. Unlike previous years, [...]

  • Stranger Things

    'Stranger Things' Season 3 Teaser Reveals Episode Titles, 2019 Release

    Netflix dropped a new teaser for the upcoming third season of “Stranger Things” Sunday, confirming that it will land on the streamer in 2019. The teaser also revealed the episode titles for the third season, which are as follows: “Suzie, Do You Copy?,” “The Mall Rats,” “The Case of the Missing Lifeguard,” “The Sauna Test,” [...]

  • Kyzza Terrazas Joins Garcia Bernal, Diego

    Kyzza Terrazas Joins Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna’s La Corriente del Golfo (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Launching their new production house, La Corriente de Golfo, last April, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna have tapped Mexican writer-director Kyzza Terrazas as the company’s head of development. The appointment will certainly help build the company appointing an old-rounder capable of overseeing and implementing development, writing and directing, and a longtime [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content