2:59pm PT by Lesley Goldberg , Lacey Rose
ABC Cancels 'Last Resort,' '666 Park Avenue'
Freshman dramas Last Resort and 666 Park Avenue will not move forward at ABC.
The network has opted to cancel both underperforming series, despite picking up two additional scripts for both. The two series will get to air all 13 episodes in their original order in their respective Thursday and Sunday time slots.
Last Resort, from The Shield's Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek, began modestly in the competitive 8 p.m. Thursday slot but since has posted modest upticks. Season-to-date, the critically acclaimed drama starring Andre Braugher and Scott Speedman, is averaging 7.3 million total viewers and a 1.7 in the demo. Thursday's episode notched its lowest-rated hour to date, attracting 5.8 million viewers and a 1.2.
Despite the considerable praise entertainment chief Paul Lee heaped on it, the series about a rogue nuclear submarine crew was seen as something of a departure for the soapy, femme-skewing network. That it was being forced to open the night -- and on Thursday, a hugely valuable night for advertising, no less -- was an additional challenge from the outset. Series including Charlie's Angels, Missing and My Generation all have seen their demise airing that 8 p.m. Thursday hour in years past.
For Ryan's part, the prolific showrunner already has a Beverly Hills Cop sequel with Eddie Murphy and Brandon T. Jackson in development at CBS, which some sources believe irked ABC brass. Ryan also has a U.S. marshal drama in the works at TNT.
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Fellow freshman drama 666 Park Avenue has struggled in the 10 p.m. Sunday slot. The Terry O'Quinn, Vanessa Williams, Dave Annable and Rachael Taylor thriller is averaging only 5 million viewers and a 1.6 rating among the key 18-49 demo. Its most recent hour drew 4 million viewers with a 1.3 demo rating.)
The decision to end the shows after 13 episodes comes after the network picked up two additional scripts for each. ABC brass had hoped that 666 Park Avenue's soapy undertones would prove a strong fit with last year's breakout Revenge, but the show failed deliver either the buzz or the viewership.
ABC has not yet determined what will air in either series' place, as the network has not announced its midseason lineup. The network has comedies How to Live With Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) and Family Tools in the can for midseason as well as dramas Mistresses, Red Widow and Zero Hour. Already this fall, Lee's team has granted full-season orders to Nashville, The Neighbors and second-year Shonda Rhimes drama Scandal, while picking up additional scripts for the Reba McEntire freshman comedy Malibu Country and Tim Allen's Last Man Standing.