5:44pm PT by Lesley Goldberg, Michael O'Connell
NBC Cancels 'Sean Saves the World'
NBC has canceled freshman comedy Sean Saves the World.
The network initially ordered 13 episodes of the comedy that starred Sean Hayes as a gay single father and picked up five additional installments. Of the 18 episodes ordered, 14 have been filmed and 12 have aired. NBC might air the remaining two episodes after its coverage of the Winter Olympics, but the four other episodes will not be produced, as production on the Universal Television comedy has been shut down, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Sean Saves the World had an uphill ratings battle from the start. Unlike Thursday neighbor The Michael J. Fox Show, which NBC committed to airing a full 22 episodes, Sean Saves the World was middling out of the gate with a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.4 million viewers for its October premiere. The numbers never improved. A recent move to 9:30 p.m. didn't increase ratings, with the latest episode averaging just a 0.7 in the key demo and a series-low 2.6 million.
Season to date, Sean Saves the World is averaging a 1.4 rating with adults 18-49 in live-plus-7 returns. The modest 27 percent jump from its live airings (1.1 adults) shows that time-shifted viewers were never that attracted. The still-modest Michael J. Fox Show, by comparison, at least jumps 50 percent in DVR use to average a 1.8 rating in the demo.
For Hayes, however, his Hazy Mills production still has a relationship with NBC, with Grimm continuing to be a sturdy performer on Fridays and unscripted entry Hollywood Game Night returning to the schedule for a winter run after a solid summer bow.
This marks NBC's second comedy cancellation of the 2013-14 season. Sean Saves the World joins Welcome to the Family, which was yanked after only a handful of low-rated episodes.
As for NBC's midseason fare, the network will bow comedies About a Boy and Growing Up Fisher in the coming weeks, using the Olympics to promote the series.
The decision to end Sean Saves the World comes the same day that NBC ordered gay-themed Ellen DeGeneres-produced comedy One Big Happy to pilot. The network, under openly gay entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, has struggled with gay-themed fare in recent years. Last season, NBC canceled Ryan Murphy's The New Normal after one season. It was part of a wave of cancellations that saw several LGBT characters disappear from both broadcast and cable networks.