NBC has cancelled its second new show of the new fall season, Hank Azaria's "Free Agents," which has been airing at 7:30 on the Wednesday lineup – competing against ABC's already strong night of sitcoms.
It's not a surprise, since the ratings were poor. "Free Agents" didn't even have the benefit of the hype that surrounded "The Playboy Club," NBC's first cancellation this week.
In a classy move, Azaria offered this tweet on Thursday, after word of his show's demise came out:
"Thanks to NBC for giving us a shot, thanks to all who watched Free Agents, and thanks to all who worked on the show- we had so much fun!!"
Azaria's a talented guy, but I think he's more of a supporting character than a sitcom lead.
If you didn't get a chance to see the show, based on a British TV comedy, here's a sample:
These two NBC shows aren't the only cancellations coming, of course.
In fact, word came late Thursdau that the CW Network's "H8R," which brings stars together with people who dislike them, has been pulled from the schedule.
It may depend on last night's numbers, but CBS' oddly anachronistic "How to Be a Gentlemen" isn't likely to survive.
ABC's "Pan Am" isn't completely tanking, but I don't see it surviving an entire season. Also troubled is NBC's "Prime Suspect."
NBC has given early pickups to two shows that it's betting on, the not-so-funny "Whitney," and "Up All Night," the Will Arnett-Christina Applegate-Maya Rudolph comedy that has potential.
Despite having the first two flops of the season, NBC – still rebuilding from the prime-time Jay Leno debacle – is investing in the development of two new shows.
On radio: The summer numbers from Arbitron in the key 25-54 age group shows Brewers-powered WMTJ-AM (620) leading the pack, followed by WMIL-FM (106.1), WRIT-FM (95.7), WXSS-FM (103.7), and WHQG-FM (102.9).
- Two years after he launched his daily podcast following his firing by WTMJ-AM, Phil Cianciola is starting a regular afternoon radio gig next week at Appleton's WHBY-AM (1150). His podcast, which posts its final episode on Monday, has been hosted here at OnMilwaukee.com.
- WLDB-FM (93.3) morning hosts Jane Matenaer and CV (Carol Vonn) are in the middle of hosting their annual "Call to Care Radiothon," which continues until 7 tonight. The radiothon helps out ABCD (After Breast Cancer Diagnosis).
- Gary E. Knell, long-time boss of Sesame Workshop, is the new president and CEO of National Public Radio.
So long, Steve: Obviously, you're aware of the passing of Steve Jobs this week. I did my version of a farewell in August when he stepped down as CEO of Apple, but here's one more goodbye, an unaired 1997 Apple spot with his narration:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.