ABC has yanked freshman series “Of Kings and Prophets” from its schedule, Variety has learned. The cancellation comes after just two very low-rated episodes have aired.
The biblical drama premiered March 8 to a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 3.3 million viewers overall, falling off this week to an even lower 0.5 in the demo with just 2.4 million viewers.
The time slot left vacant by “Of Kings and Prophets” will be occupied by “Shark Tank’s” companion series “Beyond the Tank” starting next Tuesday, March 22, at 10 p.m.
The Tuesday 10 p.m. time slot has been troubled for ABC. Last November, the dark 1980s set drama “Wicked City” opened with a 0.9, fell to a 0.7 and was then pulled after hitting a minuscule 0.4 in its third outing. Previously, the slot had been home to “Forever,” which did okay, but was not renewed for a second season; “Killer Women”( in 2014), which was pulled after just a few airings; and “Lucky 7,” which ran from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, 2013, before being axed.
“Of Kings and Prophets” received less than lukewarm reviews with Variety‘s Maureen Ryan calling the drama “a messy affair,” before predicting its doomed fate.
“Speaking of prophecy, it’s not difficult to foresee the fate of this mishmash of sword-and-sandals epics and sexy nighttime soaps,” Variety‘s review read. “Given that it was commissioned by ABC’s previous king — er, entertainment president — and given that, under the new regime, the drama is getting a half-hearted midseason roll-out, the destiny of this drama seems clear. ABC was to be commended for trying something far afield of the usual doctor-lawyer-cop formulas, but this dark inversion of the myth-driven ABC show “Once Upon a Time” just doesn’t fulfill its potential. All portents point toward doom.”
“Of Kings” was created by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, and starred Ray Winstone, Olly Rix, Mohammad Bakri, Simone Kessell, Nathaniel Parker, Haaz Sleiman, James Floyd, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Jeanine Mason and David Walmsley.