ABC Axes 'Assets' After Two Episodes

The Assets

Premieres: Thursday, Jan. 2 at 10 p.m. (ABC)
Stars: Paul Rhys, Jodie Whittaker, Harriet Walter, Stuart Milligan

The eight-part, Cold War miniseries centers on real-life CIA double agent Aldrich Ames (Rhys) who sold U.S. secrets to Russia in the 1980s and 90s.

In what was one of the most quiet entrances and exits in recent broadcast TV memory, ABC has pulled the plug on The Assets after two episodes.

An ABC rep confirms that the drama is off the schedule and will be replaced by Shark Tank encores for three weeks effective Jan. 16. It was not immediately clear what the plans were for the Thursday 10 p.m. time slot in the remaining days until Scandal's Feb. 27 return.

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The Assets, which received very little marketing, entered the schedule during the unfortunate postholiday Thursday, with just a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49. That made it the smallest drama premiere in Big Four history.

The second week fell to a 0.6 rating and 2.92 million viewers.

A period piece based on the book Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed, The Assets was produced by Morgan Hertzan, Rudy Bednar and Andrew Chapman.

It follows in the unfortunate footsteps of freshman drama Lucky 7 in its early exit. Fellow ABC midseason entry Killer Women did not perform much better in its Tuesday premiere. It opened to just a 0.9 adults rating and 3.96 million viewers.