NBC Halts Production on ‘Prime Suspect’; No Return In Sight

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 12:33 pm,

Maria Bello Prime Suspect Series Premiere NBC NBC Halts Production on Prime Suspect; No Return In Sight

NBC’s newest tough-as-nails cop drama Prime Suspect appears to have been given an unceremonious farewell, as the network is shutting down production on the freshman series after leaving it off of their 2012 midseason schedule.

Prime Suspect, which is an adaptation of the popular British series starring Helen Mirren, has had trouble finding an audience since its September premiere.  With an initial rating of just over 6 million viewers, Prime Suspect quickly dropped to an average of 4.5 million viewers per episode.

Despite Prime Suspect receiving favorable reviews, NBC isn’t in any position to allow a new show to underperform – even if it is a competent series. That being said, NBC did attempt to help find an audience for the series. Following The Playboy Club’s cancelation, NBC replayed the first three episodes of Prime Suspect in its time slot. Unfortunately, that didn’t help.

Of course, Prime Suspect hasn’t officially been canceled yet, and being left off of the mid-season schedule alone doesn’t mean that it’s not coming back – this is something that Community fans should take note of, following the announcement of Community being put on hiatus.

Unfortunately, whereas Community is continuing to film episodes, NBC is shutting down production on the Prime Suspect without any sign when it might start up again. While it’s common for television production to shut down around the holidays, Deadline is reporting that the cast and crew have been notified that there isn’t a date set for production to begin again. According to the network, they’re still weighing their options.

Helen Mirren Prime Suspect BBC NBC Halts Production on Prime Suspect; No Return In Sight

Helen Mirren in 'Prime Suspect'

For fans of Prime Suspect, this is certainly not the best news in the world. Fourtunatly, if you enjoy what Maria Bello did with the role, you still have the opportunity to also see what Helen Mirren did with it. Desptie NBC’s Prime Suspect only producting 8 episodes, the original British series ended after just 14 episodes. Of course, the British version’s 14-episode run stretched over the course of 15 years, from 1991 to 2006. Each episode was  3+ hours and followed Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison over the course of her career.

As NBC is still “looking over their options” with the series, we’ll make sure to keep you up to date if anything changes. But as it stands now, it would be wise to bid farewell to Prime Suspect.


You can watch the last remaining episodes of Prime Suspect Thursdays @10pm on NBC

Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio

Source: Deadline





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  1. I am so disappointed to hear Prime Suspect is not returning. NBC has some great shows, but this was one of my favorites and hope they will reconsider.

  2. WTH is wrong with NBC? Stopped running a good show. I loved Prime Suspect, but continue to run horrible shows. Smh…I just don’t get it! Try listening to the viewers NBC!!

  3. I am so disappointed and surprised that Prime Suspect will not be returning. It was the best show I’ve watched in a long time. Couldn’t wait to watch every week. Please bring it back. Thanks

  4. I’ve been waiting for this show to come back and I just found out that NBC killed it. Maria Bello was great and NBC programming honchos are morons. So much better than the lame L&O show left on the air and waaaaaaay better than any CSI show. Great writing, terrific acting and grit – what every cop show set in NYC needs. Better promotion and a little more patience was what was called for, not termination.

    • I agree, I ran across this show by accident. I was so impressed I watched all the episodes on Hulu to catch up. What great writing. Love the acting and witty interaction.
      What a shame to take off what is one of the few shows worth watching.
      I am sure some idiot has replaced it with another bunch of housewives from somewhere.

  5. Oh please it is one of the only good shows on tv, it is witty and well written.
    I hope they will give it another chance. I stumbled across it and was hooked.
    I am not the least bit interested in watching stupid people shoot aligators, or drive on icy roads, or stab each other in the back, or drink and scream at each other.
    I had given up on anything worth wasting my eye sight on until I watched Prime Suspect.
    I truly hope NBC will reconsider and bring back this show.
    Otherwise I will only be watching AMC and their well written shows which have great plots for those of us who can still think. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Killing
    show there is still some talent that does not sink to the level of Sukie or the Housewife’s of where ever.

  6. I wonder if they’re also taking into account people like me who never watch things when they air? I use Hulu to watch Prime Suspect and most of my other TV. I think this is the new trend. And 4.5 million regular viewers sounds like a heck of a lot to me! Such a shame. There are too few shows with strong female leads.

  7. My husband and I and also a few of my co-workers loved the show Prime Suspect. We have been waiting for it’s return. The acting was way above par of other shows on various networks. What a disappointment to hear that it may not return. We hope NBC reconsiders their decision. There are plenty of fans who enjoy watching good actors such as Maria Bello and fellow actors. We are fans!! Please bring the show back.

  8. Dear Sir or Mam,
    This show (IS!) part of my regular line up. The Firm, the Killing, Game of Thrones, Prime Suspect, Masterpiece Classics, Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Homeland, the Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Mad Men(no particular order). I understand you are in the business to make revenue so switch it to Wednesday’s, there’s no show competing with it. I hope the people responsible for this show from A to Z are still available because this was a very bad decision to cancel the show. From the theme song, the chemistry displayed, story lines, definitely an award winning cast! Fire somebody and get my show back on. Reality TV is in the rear-view, don’t get left behind with it.

    • Awake is a great show also, don’t cancel. (thanks)

  9. Prime Suspect was one of the best shows EVER!
    Why not put in a better time slot? Like 10 on Wednesday
    Surly it will beat out that dumb ass Revenge show

  10. Prime Suspect was one of the best shows EVER!
    Why not put in a better time slot? Like 10 on Wednesday
    Surly it will beat out that d.a. Revenge show

  11. My husband and I just found out that the show was cancelled. (We became suspicious after seeing one of the show’s stars show up in a Subway commercial.) We’re so disappointed. It’s the only new drama that we’ve been interested in in a very long time. Every week we marveled at how well written it was. NBC please bring it back!

  12. I have just watched season 1 and I was looking forwored to season 2 don’t cancel prime suspect it’s the best show on tv

  13. Prime suspect was / is a great show. Maria Bello is terrific. Bring it Back!

  14. brilliant cast, witty, gritty scripts. Best thing I’ve watched all year. Typical that it would be cancelled for something witless and flabby. I feel quite depressed now

  15. I am shocked! Prime Suspect was so powerful – character driven. The entire cast and writing team should be commended. Honestly, I didn’t think Maria B. had it in her and now I am her biggest fan. Can you imagine if they “killed” NYPD Blue after its first season. NBC, Give me a BREAK!
    Marjie Elliott
    Bring Prime Suspect BACK… any time… I’ll wait.

  16. Great show, NBC should reconsider disapointing

  17. Gutted this is not returning. Best thing I’ve seen on Universal in ages.

  18. Love the characters in this show, really think there’s so much further they could go with this. It’s a proper cop show. In league with The Wire, Sounthland and NYPD

  19. Please please please make a second season. It’s so different from the British prime suspect but we love watching it. Season one is just airing in Scotland but really hoped there would be a second. Please reconsider NBC!

  20. This was a favorite of mine along with Harry’s Law. I’m so disappointed!

  21. I love Prime Suspect!!! I’m really sad to see it go!! I hope NBC decides to keep it up. Its one of the few cop shows where there seems to be actual police work as opposed to office romance. It would be a shame to see it go :(

  22. The networks have lost their minds. They should be airing shows like Detroit 187, Prime Suspect and Longmi:re. Those show are well written and have great cast.!! I guess they have forgotten when shows like Seinfeld and Mash first aired they started off a little slow, but soon became the most popular shows on TV. Now everyone wants to put on trashy shows like the Real Housewives (real housewives?? b*******) I am a housewife and I can promise you that is not real. Then we have crap like Honey boo Boo WTH??? The show where parent parade their toddlers around dressed like adults, the dance and cheerleadin shows?? What is wrong with you people? I just don’t get those shows. The Bachelor, really it is time to go,dancing with the stars needs to go, most of those people they call stars are no names anyway. If you are going to have a dancing show why does it have to be with so called stars?? I am about sick of the networks and all the trash they are airing. Bring back the good shows, bring back DETROIT 187, Prime Suspects and Long mire!

  23. One of the best cop shows to come to the UK from the US in a LONG time.. I LOVED this show and got really engaged in the characters. very sad that its not coming back.