Battle Creek’s cancellation came following its three-month struggle in ratings, it has been revealed. The CBS comedy program, starring Josh Duhamel as Chamberlain and Dean Winters as Agnew, saw its finale episode air last night after it had been announced that the show would not be renewed for another series.
While fans of the show had argued their points over social media, stressing that they needed to give the show a little more time, CBS was said to have become worried over the program’s ratings. Having premiered to an audience of 7.9 million viewers in its Sunday evening time slot, Battle Creek did not do as well as the network had hoped. Nonetheless, executive producers were firm believers that people would pick up with the storyline once its next episode aired.
Unfortunately for them, Battle Creek had a drastic drop in the ratings by the time its second episode was televised. Only 6.9 million people tuned in. CBS would then go on to learn that the program would face a ratings drop for six consecutive weeks. The show failed to make any impact in its 18-49 demo, leaving the network no other choice but to scrap the show in its entirety.
USA Today’s Gary Levin had criticized CBS for not doing enough to promote the show the way it promoted other shows. He argues that the network had done their part to market the program effectively to a broad audience, and that the show could have succeeded. TV writer Mike Hughes agreed with this point, adding: “It started at an OK level and just stayed at an OK level. It never did any better than that, which is disappointing.” Hughes adds that the overall feel of the program was anything but pleasant, compared to other CBS dramas. Battle Creek was canceled because it was set up for failure to begin with, leaving the network at fault as to why viewers tuned out.
Another thing that fans had complained about via social media was the fact that certain plots would not get resolved until a specified date. For example, an episode which airs in April, about two characters and their shocking revelation of evidence regarding someone’s murder, would not be revealed to viewers until the last week of May. Fans argued that they were extremely turned off by the idea of having to wait up to six weeks to see conclusions to certain storylines, insinuating that they may have stopped watching because of it.
Many TV critics had praised the show for its originality, crediting Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan for what appeared to be another solid show with high potential. Not even with House producer David Shore, working to make the program a Sunday evening must-watch drama, CBS could not see themselves going forward as ratings struggled to improve.
The Sunday night time slot for dramas is seemingly appearing to become wider and wider, following the recent cancellation of ABC’s Revenge. The show, which ended in its fourth season, saw a drastic slump in its key demographic, having also failed to attract viewers over the course of the year. Nonetheless, compared to Battle Creek, Revenge was still able to hit a key demo 18-49 past 1.1, which is significantly higher than the 0.7 CBS was able to receive. Battle Creek’s cancellation was due to its failure to attract viewers, but it has given CBS more room for original programming.
By Maurice Cassidy
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