NBC picks up Whitney and Up All Night for full season
If you had NBC’s The Playboy Club in the-first-show-to-be-canceled-of-the-season pool, you win!
The low-rated shot-in-Chicago drama became the first cancellation of the 2011-12 television season after three episodes, joining other embarrassments that lasted just as long, including 1978’s The Waverly Wonders with Joe Namath (which also aired on NBC) and 1993’s Broson Pinchot-Courtney Cox laugh-free CBS sitcom The Trouble With Larry.
The critically panned series premiered on September 19 with an already-low five million viewers and a 1.6 rating/4 share in the adult (18-49) demo. But its third airing on October 3 bought in just 3.3 million viewers and a 1.2/3 in the adult demo.
The Playboy Club was about life in Chicago’s actual Playboy Club in the early 1960’s, which many complained the series portrayed as inaccurate. The Parents Television Council tageted the series for ad boycotts because it had the name “Playboy” in the title. Feminist activist Gloria Steinem also ripped into the show for being sexist.
But at the end of the day, it was the poor acting and poorly-written storylines that did the show in.
This marks the second shot-in-Chicago series to be canceled this year. In May, Fox dropped The Chicago Code after thirteen episodes. Even though the series did decently in the ratings, Code’s ratings dropped substantially from its House lead-in. But there is some good news: Starz’s new Kesley Grammer drama Boss is still shooting here, and premieres October 21 (the series has already been renewed for its second season.)
While NBC canned Playboy, it did pick up full seasons for two sitcoms – the laughless Up All Night and the intolerable Whitney, which is no doubt headed to The T Dog Media TV Hall Of Shame. From seeing all those promos on her stupid, unfunny show on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, you’d think Whitney Cummings was the face of the network.
But hey – it makes perfect sense. After all, NBC still stands for Nothing But Crap.