NBC to End 'A to Z,' 'Bad Judge'

Bad Judge A to Z Split 2 - H 2014
Courtesy of NBC

Bad Judge A to Z Split 2 - H 2014

NBC is letting go of Bad Judge and A to Z.

Rookie romantic comedy A to Z, starring Mad Men's Ben Feldman and How I Met Your Mother's Cristin Milioti, and Kate Walsh's Bad Judge will not continue beyond their initial 13-episode runs.

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Both shows will remain in their current Thursday night time slots in the 9 p.m. hour. Bad Judge has three more episodes left to film, while A to Z has two; both have eight left to air.

While receiving favorable reviews from critics, A to Z premiered to mediocre numbers in its 9:30 p.m. Thursday time period following fellow freshman comedy Bad Judge. Opening to a respectable 4.8 million in its Oct. 2 debut, the half-hour series since seen its ratings drop week over week. Its most recent episode on Oct. 30 averaged just over 2.5 million and a 0.7 rating in adults 18-to-49 — the lowest-rated program in its time slot among the Big 4.

Henry Zebrowski, Lenora Crichlow, Christina Kirk, Hong Chau and Parvesh Cheena co-star in A to Z, which is narrated by Sons of Anarchy's Katey Sagal. Creator Ben Queen executive produces along with Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, Bill Callahan and Michael Patrick Jann.

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Bad Judge was one of two Gary Sanchez Productions comedies that NBC picked up to series, marking their first broadcast shows. The second, space comedy Mission Control, was canceled before its premiere.

Bad Judge opened to 5.9 million total viewers and a 1.2 among 18-to-49, on par with lead-in The Biggest Loser's haul. The series held its live-plus-same-day premiere score in the demo — marking the first fall series to accomplish the feat. Ryan Hansen, John Ducey, Tone Bell and Miguel Sandoval co-star.

Thursdays have remained problematic for NBC, which settled for long-running reality series The Biggest Loser to lead the evening, slotted new comedies Bad Judge and A to Z in the 9 p.m. hour against stiff competition (ABC's Scandal, CBS' The Big Bang Theory) and left outgoing drama Parenthood at 10 p.m. as it aims to rebuild the three-hour primetime block.

A to Z and Bad Judge join Manhattan Love Story as this season's first cancellations. Networks have been slower with the hook this television season than in years past as declining ratings have proven difficult to determine a show's potential success and longevity.

On the comedy side, NBC's midseason bench includes the final season of Parks and Recreation, Ellen DeGeneres' lesbian comedy One Big Happy, Craig Robinson's Mr. Robinson and Tina Fey's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Lesley Goldberg contributed to this report.

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