Five episodes into both Bad Judge and A to Z and NBC has made the decision to axe both shows, although they will allow them to finish out their seasons. This swift move has puzzled many fans of the latter show as overall the ratings have been pretty good for the romantic comedy. Just looking at IMDb alone, the Ben Feldman, Cristin Milioti “couple comedy” scores an impressive 7.3 in terms of critical reviews of the show. Bad Judge, the Kate Walsh vehicle has a smaller score, 5.6 to be exact, but this numerical value was going up, with the last episode reaching 6.6.
Both shows join other network casualties, ABCs Manhattan Love Story and FOXs Mulaney in getting the chop. Both the NBC shows have been allowed to finish their run, but this bittersweet victory will not please many who work on the shows. Ben Feldman posted a picture from the set of A to Z on his Instagram account saying that it was a snap of the scene they were working on when the news of their cancellation was announced. He also stated that he was very proud of the show and its cast and crew. On a lighter note Feldman finished by stating that while their alphabet would fall short, for now, that one day they would return.
Kate Walsh took to Twitter and tweeted her appreciation for all the @NBCBadJudge “love” and invited the show’s fans to continue watching the NBC series till it finishes. The network axing the two shows, Bad Judge and A to Z follows a trend established by many major networks of killing off new comedy programs before they can find an audience. Supporters of the Katey Sagal narrated rom-com have expressed disappointment over the cancellation of what they call a clever comedy.
In terms of cast alone, Feldman and Milioti make a brilliant couple. Cristin does make one think of a cross between Alyson Hannigan and Jennifer Love Hewitt, but younger, and she did hone her situational comedic skills on How I Met Your Mother with Ms. Hannigan. Not that this resemblance of other actresses is relevant to the reason for the show’s cancellation, but it is food for thought.
Although, in reality, the fault may not lie with the shows themselves in terms of cast and/or storyline. Deadline points out that both these cancelled programs had a very poor lead-in, NBCs older reality television game show The Biggest Loser, which clocked in 1.1 on Saturday night prior to both the shows that have been chopped from the network schedule.
Bad Judge and A to Z has been axed by NBC and the two half-hour comedies have suffered the fate of many other new shows that failed to pull in viewing figures that validated running the more expensive shows versus the cheap to make reality TV that most networks have begun to rely upon for higher ratings and low production costs. Kate Walsh will no doubt recover from her show’s swift demise, this talented lady shines no matter what she works in, just look at her work on Fargo. Feldman and Milioti will also recover but, like Walsh, will no doubt have a nasty taste left by the quick decision to kill their shows five episodes into the first season. Sic transit comedy mundi…or in this case NBC.
By Michael Smith