Mitch McDeere can finally stop running. NBC seemed to have high hopes for their recent continuation of the John Grisham novel and hit Tom Cruise film The Firm, but it stumbled right out of the starting gate with bad reviews and a rather dire 1.4 rating for it's premiere episode. The numbers have taken a nose dive from even that low plateau in the ensuing weeks, with the most recent airing garnering less than 3 million viewers. Not too surprisingly, Entertainment Weekly is reporting that while contractual obligations will most likely require the peacock network to air all 22 episodes, the show will be shipped off to Saturday nights at 9pm beginning February 11th.
This of course means that The Firm is all but officially canceled. If Friday nights are the network "death slot", Saturdays are the embalming room. This marks the latest of a long list of failures for NBC this season (and for the last several), and while NBC will most likely recover eventually, right now they must feel like they're out on the mat as the ref counts to 8. The news isn't all bad for the network and it's viewers though.
Starting March 1st, The Firm's timeslot of Thursdays at 10pm will be filled by the much anticipated Awake, starring Jason Isaacs. Critics raved over advanced screenings of the pilot episode, and the show jumped to the top of a lot of online lists of most anticipated shows of the 2011-2012 season almost instantly. Unfortunately, NBC seemed clueless as to how to market the show's complex plot of a man who finds himself living in two parallel realities after a tragic car accident, and the show was repeatedly delayed until the premiere entered TBA status. If nothing else, the failure of The Firm will finally enable viewers to judge for themselves just how good this high concept drama really is.
So, where do you stand? Will you miss The Firm? Will Awake be a dream come true? Make your voice heard in the comments.