ABC Says Good Night 'Knights,' Deep-Sixes 'The Nine'
ABC Says Good Night 'Knights,' Deep-Sixes 'The Nine'
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Remember how FOX took Drive off the air, then put it back on, then took it back off, and so on?  Or how NBC did the same thing to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip?  Now ABC is jumping into the game, abandoning their initial plans to burn off episodes of two canceled shows: The Knights of Prosperity and The Nine.

After airing the first seven episodes of The Nine in October and November of 2006, ABC pulled the show off the air, and later canceled it, though six episodes remained unaired.  Starting two weeks ago, ABC began to burn them off Wednesday nights at 10pm, but after just two episodes with unbelievably low ratings, the final four episodes are being shelved yet again, to be replaced by an ABC News inside look at NASCAR.  I guess airing just nine episodes of the show is a note of playful irony on ABC's part.

The tale of woe for The Knights of Prosperity is even longer.  Originally called Let's Rob Jeff Goldblum (replaced by Mick Jagger when Goldblum dropped out), it was supposed to be on ABC's schedule for the Fall 2006 season after a final name change to The Knights of Prosperity.  It got bumped to midseason, where it aired nine episodes before being canceled.  There was a chance it would return with Ray Romano as the star the titular team tried to rob from, but that fell through.  The final episodes were supposed to burn off starting last week, but with low ratings for the first two episodes, it was quickly taken off the air again after just one night.  In it's place, as if to add insult to injury, will be repeats of According to Jim.

This is nothing new for ABC.  The alphabet network played hopscotch with other new shows this past season, including Six Degrees (taken off the air, put back on, taken off again).  It seems the only way fans can actually get to see more of a low-rated show is to bombard the network with nuts.

The Nine was about a group of bank hostages coping with their trauma while flashbacks showed viewers exactly what happened during their time at gunpoint.  It starred current Emmy nominee Tim Daly (The Sopranos, Wings), Kim Raver (24) and Chi McBride (ABC's upcoming Pushing Daisies).  The Knights of Prosperity was a comedy about a group of lovable losers plotting to rob from rich celebrities like Mick Jagger, Kelly Ripa and Ray Romano.  It starred Donal Logue and Sofia Vergara.

It's unknown whether either show will get a DVD release or the more likely online burn-off.  With the preponderance of shows this past season being treated like red-headed step children by the major networks, it becomes more difficult for viewers to have any reason to become invested in a new show.  Why get hooked into the mystery or the characters if we'll never be able to find out what happens to them.

It's a case of the tail wagging the dog.  Networks complain that more people watch procedural shows with stand alone episodes over serialized dramas, so we get even more shows about psychic detectives or people investigating crime scenes.  The truth is that if the networks had more confidence and let their serialized dramas build up audiences, perhaps they'd become profitable.  But in a time when a show has to either premiere with huge ratings or it will be taken off the air by the next week, it's almost not worth it for TV show creators to come up with anything more advanced than another cop drama.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Source: Zap2It
(Image courtesy of ABC)