Question: Does ABC plan on ever finishing the run of a new sitcom? Last year, they gave Emily's Reasons Why Not a one-night trial, along with the returning Jake in Progress. They also pulled Crumbs after five episodes, after it averaged 7.5 million viewers on Tuesdays. That's much better than any of ABC's comedies have averaged this season, besides Dancing with the Stars-fueled Help Me Help You, which was pulled with four episodes left to air. Then, the network pulled Big Day with only one episode left to air, The Knights of Prosperity with four episodes left, In Case of Emergency with two episodes left and Notes from the Underbelly, which will only air seven of its 13 episodes. Do you think this shows an overall lack of confidence in new sitcoms?
Answer: Whew. You're certainly paying a lot more attention to that wasteland than I am. In most cases (though not for Knights of Prosperity, which deserved better), for ABC to take these shows off the air early is kind of like a mercy killing. The fact that few of these shows make it all the way to the end of their designed run is insulting for fans, I'm sure, but it's a clear sign that the network is experiencing a serious comedy drought. Look at ABC's announcement last week of its early pickups. Of 14 series that are definite to return next season, none are half-hour comedies. Not even stalwarts like According to Jim and George Lopez are safe at this point.