ABC has trimmed the episode order of its Sunday night soapy drama “Blood & Oil,” which stars Don Johnson and Chace Crawford. The freshman show will now air 10 episodes and likely conclude in December.
“Blood & Oil” debuted Sept. 27 to a modest 1.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.4 million total viewers, airing behind “Once Upon a Time.” It dropped off the following week before stabilizing last Sunday.
The show was also met with lukewarm reviews, with Variety TV columnist Brian Lowry calling it “just another attempt to update ‘Dallas.’”
The series, which was created by Josh Pate and Rodes Fishburne, was mired by as much drama off screen as was shown on. Despite ABC having bought the script in 2011 and TV vet Tony Krantz serving as an exec producer, the project bounced between the Alphabet and USA Network under various titles (“Boom” at one point; simply “Oil” at another). Once it was picked up to series, it battled showrunner changes (including a stint by former “Dallas” showrunner Cynthia Cidre), plus recasts after the pilot was shot.
Despite this hiccup, ABC has seen moderate success this fall season. “Dr. Ken” recently landed a full-season order, along with the Priyanka Chopra drama “Quantico.”
This season, other new broadcast shows that have had their episode orders trimmed — indicating a future cancellation, unless the series experience a large ratings surge — include Fox’s “Minority Report” and NBC’s Wesley Snipes action-thriller “The Player.”