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ABC’s Notorious is ending its freshman run early.
The network has trimmed the episode order for the first-year drama starring Piper Perabo and Daniel Sunjata from 13 to 10, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
ABC plans to air all 10 episodes of the series, which hails from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Studios. Although the network still has the option of ordering a second season, that appears unlikely given the show’s lackluster performance thus far.
Taking over Scandal‘s Thursday slot, the drama inspired by the life of criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker opened Sept. 22 to poor reviews (THR’s Daniel Fienberg called it “the fall’s worst new network drama”) and soft numbers. Sandwiched between Shonda Rhimes-produced Grey’s Anatomy (ABC’s No. 1 drama) and How to Get Away With Murder, Notorious drew a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49, barely outperforming Fox’s Pitch, and 5.3 million total viewers. A decent player on DVR (adding around 70 percent to its total cume), the series slipped and stabilized to a 1.0 in the demo in the weeks since. Total viewers, however, have continued to tumble, with its most recent hour pulling 3.9 million total.
From showrunner Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva), Notorious landed one of last pilot season’s most sought-after actors in Graceland grad Sunjata, who fielded multiple offers before selecting the legal soap.
Notorious is one of the first freshman series of the 2016-17 broadcast season to see its episode order trimmed. ABC also cut back the order of midseason comedy Imaginary Mary from 13 to nine as it required extra time for animation. As for the remainder of ABC’s fall freshman class, drama Designated Survivor has been picked up for a full season, as has comedy Speechless. The verdict is still out on Hayley Atwell starrer Conviction — which is wholly owned by ABC — and comedy American Housewife, which recently debuted.
ABC’s midseason bench includes three Shonda Rhimes-produced dramas: the second season of The Catch, rookie Still Star-Crossed and season five of Scandal, which was bumped to midseason to accommodate star Kerry Washington’s second pregnancy. (ABC has noted that the Rhimes-branded “TGIT” programming block will return when all three of its Thursday dramas are from the prolific producer.) Also awaiting a premiere date is Kevin Williamson’s H.G. Wells drama Time After Time and high-concept single-camera comedies Downward Dog and Imaginary Mary.
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