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 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