[Update: There are now conflicting reports as to whether the remaining episodes of Believe and Crisis will air. Scroll down for details.]
In the recent tradition of comedies like The Michael J. Fox Show and Sean Saves the World, NBC has opted to pull struggling Sunday night dramas Believe and Crisis from the schedule, despite both shows still having multiple unaired episodes remaining.
While this development obviously won't please either show's fans, the ultimate fate of both Believe and Crisis has been apparent almost since the beginning. Produced by acclaimed film director Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men, Gravity), Believe debuted to a lot of hype, and large expectations. The 2.6 rating earned by the series premiere even looked pretty promising at first, with NBC rarely rising above a 2.0 for any scripted dramas this season. Unfortunately, critical opinion was decidedly mixed, and episode 2 plummeted to a meager 1.5. The most recent episode to air had fallen all the way to a 1.0.
The Rachael Taylor/Gillian Anderson fronted Crisis did even worse, premiering to a 1.5 and falling to a 1.2 in episode 2. Crisis' most recent episode also drew a 1.0. Even on NBC, a show drawing 1.0's extremely unlikely to get renewed, unless it's a super cheap to license international co-production like Hannibal or Dracula. The writing for Believe and Crisis has been on the wall for some time, as much as the steady (if small) fanbases of both shows may not have wanted to accept it.
Believe and Crisis fans will get no grace period for accepting this new reality, as neither show is expected back anytime soon, if ever. NBC's much promoted Rosemary's Baby miniseries was already scheduled to occupy this Sunday's lineup, and next weekend's previously scheduled episodes of Believe and Crisis have been replaced by a Women of SNL special. To add insult to injury, the aforementioned special isn't even new. The fact that NBC opted to air a rerun instead of new installments of Believe and Crisis during the all-important May sweeps period demonstrates just how little confidence the network has in either show.
While it's true that Believe and Crisis haven't been officially canceled, a network doesn't pull a freshman series from the schedule if there's any real hope for that series getting picked up for another year. NBC will likely wait to formally drop the axe until next week's upfront presentation, before the fall schedule is revealed.
Believe still has four unaired episodes in the can, and ended on a major plot development that will probably never be resolved. Crisis has five episodes unaired waiting in the wings, and will also likely never give its fans closure on the titular high stakes incident. It's decisions like these that lead to many viewers choosing to wait until a second season has been ordered before bothering with a new serialized drama. Hopefully fans at least get a DVD or Netflix release of the missing episodes.
UPDATE: There is now conflicting information going around, as some credible sources are saying that the remaining episodes of Believe and Crisis aren't currently scheduled to air, while other equally credible sources are saying that both shows will return to NBC on Sunday, May 25. NBC has yet to officially clarify things either.
The NBC.com website currently says Believe returns on the 25th, while Crisis returns on the 18th. That can't be entirely true though, as the specific day both shows have been pulled in favor of Women of SNL is Sunday the 18th. Unfortunately, being pulled for sweeps still effectively means Believe and Crisis are as good as canceled, whether they air their remaining episodes or not.
Believe and Crisis have both been pulled from NBC's schedule, effective immediately.