After two weeks of dismal ratings and poor critical reception, The Paul Reiser Show has been pulled from NBC’s Thursday night line-up.
The Paul Reiser Show, a mid-season replacement for the struggling Perfect Couples, got off to a very rocky start.
According to The Wrap, the debut episode managed to snag the lowest ratings for a regular season premiere in NBC history – grabbing the attention of a paltry 3.3 million viewers. The following week, the show managed to lose 18 percent of those initial viewers. After such a poor showing, it came as no surprise when the network promptly pulled the plug.
Critically speaking, The Paul Reiser Show didn’t earn much praise – though after just two episodes, it wasn’t given much of a chance. The most glaring problem was also one aspect that probably led to the sitcom being greenlit. Consistently compared to Larry David’s long-running HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, Reiser’s show was set to take the ‘real-life as a sitcom’ shtick and make it palatable for network audiences.
Unfortunately, The Paul Reiser Show seemed unable to shake the high expectations that came with such a comparison. To make matters worse, David actually stopped by and made an appearance. The effort sure seemed like a grand gesture from one comedian to another, but inadvertently made the differences between the two shows painfully obvious. Maybe Reiser can guest on Curb, and in an ultra-meta experience blame David’s appearance for his own show’s demise.
Now that Reiser is out – and Perfect Couples stands little chance of receiving an apology letter stamped with a multi-colored peacock – the post-Community timeslot will likely remain without a new suitor until the fall season. For the time being, NBC plans to give fans a double dose of The Office, to better remind everyone Steve Carrel is leaving the show at the end of the month.
Frankly, it’s too bad Reiser and his producing partner Jonathan Shapiro (Life, Boston Legal) weren’t given more time to re-tool their program and adjust for its shortcomings. Perhaps the history-making ratings of the show’s premiere were too much of a black eye for NBC to forgive, and the response by the network was deemed necessary.
As someone who was excited to see Reiser back on television, the cancellation of The Paul Reiser Show is unfortunate, indeed. I suppose I will just have to wait for Judd Apatow to make room for Reiser in Funny People 2.