Three sitcoms and split-reality drama struggled for viewers
The ratings-challenged NBC freshmen series "Best Friends Forever," "Bent," "Are You There, Chelsea," and "Awake" will not be back for second seasons, TheWrap has learned.
None of the midseason shows' cancellations came as a surprise. They were cut from NBC's lineup as the network makes room for new series for th 2012-13 season. The writing was on the wall for "Bent," especially: Its male lead, David Walton, had already signed on to a CBS pilot before his show was formally cancelled.
"BFF" and "Bent" were affable relationship comedies, while "Chelsea," inspired by the life of Chelsea Handler, didn't live up to the expectations set by her E! talk show and best-selling books.
"Awake," meanwhile, was one of the most ambitious series of the fall. Created by Kyle Killen, who also created the quickly cancelled Fox drama "Lonestar," it told the story of a detective who lived in two realities, one in which his wife was alive and his son died, and another in which his son lived and wife died. The complex structure and slowly unraveling mystery — was either reality real? — didn't help it win viewers.
The highest-rated of the four shows, "Chelsea," yielded only a 1.9 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo. "Awake" averaged a 1.8, and "Bent" and "BFF" each averaged a 1.1.
The bad news came down soon after NBC announced the renewals of "Fashion Star," "Parks and Recreation," "Up All Night," and "Whitney," which shared Wednesday nights with "Chelsea." The network also announced Friday that it had ordered six episodes of the new Dane Cook sitcom, "Next Caller, Please."
A footnote: When it debuted, your humble correspondent called "Awake" the best network show of this season. I'm sticking with that.