Well, it took a few weeks but the trigger has finally been pulled by the patient folks over at CBS. The Ray Liotta thief drama Smith is done. Totally. Three episodes on Tuesday at 10PM, and that's it. Instead they're going to serve up CSI: Miami repeats from what I hear for the next few weeks. In fact, about four weeks from now they have scheduled "T.B.A." in the same time period. So that's definitely the end of Smith, no new night for them, nothing.
What a humiliation for the cast and crew of that show to be the "first show cancelled", even though CBS never came out and actually said the word. But that's what it is, and movie actors Liotta and Virginia Madsen can go back and star in the cinemas again after this flop show. This is not going to entice movie stars to go back to TV, this news. James Woods' show Shark is already in second in his time slot, too, so he's not doing so hot either. People like Richard Dreyfuss and Geena Davis may never return to television again.
Sure, it was a tough time slot for Smith, but this was supposed to be one of CBS' best new shows. You would have thought they would have made more of an attempt to save it. But the ratings this week were a lousy 5.9, tied for dead last in the time slot with baseball over on FOX. And the audience declined three weeks in a row, too. CBS surprisingly said that's it, this show doesn't get a new night, it's all over. Done. Maybe they have no room to put the show, or the demographics were garbage. Maybe they saw the scripts for the next few weeks and realized the show was going to go downhill fast. Who knows. Don't you hate when you watch a show for a few weeks, start to like it, and then the network people give the show the boot? They did it to Just Legal last year on the WB, but at least that show came back and they aired what was left of the shows that had been shot this summer.
So for you folks in the TV death pool, if you bet on Smith, you deserve the prize money. I didn't expect this to be the first show to get the hook, but shows you what I know about TV. I thought the first show to go would be one of these lame efforts that nobody expected to be a hit, like Happy Hour for example. I thought with Ray Liotta in it that CBS would at least give Smith a chance. And people had nice things to say about it, but the viewers didn't watch it. So that's it.
We also now know the fate of Kidnapped. The other day NBC stuck a fork in this show, too, by refusing to pick up any more episodes. NBC has banished what's left of that series to Saturday nights, the Siberia of television, and the production is going to wrap up by episode 13 so that they can sell the series on DVD. So that is the fate of THAT effort. As you know by now Justice is going to be shown on Mondays and Happy Hour - what's left of that series- will be back after the World Series, on FOX.
Now watch as more shows start to drop like flies. The fun has begun in TV land this season.
UPDATE: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS IN TROUBLE
Here's an article from the Washington Post on how badly Friday Night Lights did in its debut. It only drew about 7 million people and was the lowest-rated new drama of the season, and second lowest of all the new shows on television this fall! Meanwhile that nonsense on ABC, Dancing With the Stars, crushed NBC. And this Lights debacle was in spite of rave reviews from people who thought this show was brilliant television, the best new show of the season and better than the movie, even. If that's the truth about this show, it will be a real shame if it does get cancelled in a hurry.
If Friday Night Lights drops some more with episode 2 look for NBC to bring out the hook fast and serve up some Howie Mandel and his suitcase babes. Maybe NBC will do what they did years ago with Hill Street Blues: keep this show on the air regardless of the bad ratings until the stupid idiots at home realize what a great show it is and start watching it.
Or maybe it's a scheduling thing. Here's a novel idea for NBC: why not move the show to Friday.