The Alec Baldwin Show pulled, technically not canceled by ABC … yet

Alec BaldwinThis just in: We have the closest thing to a cancellation that we’ve seen for a fall TV series … at least so far.

ABC is set to move The Alec Baldwin Showafter a number of extremely low-rated outings, over to Saturdays starting in December. The new episodes that are pulled off Sundays will be replaced by Shark Tank, which is basically the network’s version of ol’ reliable that they can plug in whenever they want and it will perform for them without any trouble, cause who doesn’t love watching Kevin O’Leary tell people to put their dreams in the trash can and light it on fire?

Let’s make one thing clear here: This doesn’t have anything to do with Baldwin’s recent arrest. (For the record, he denies punching someone in a dispute over a parking spot.) If The Alec Baldwin Show was pulling in even a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic, it would be sticking around and ABC would tune out all of the complaints from people who don’t like the actor. This move has everything to do with the live ratings being in the toilet. This is a series averaging a woeful 0.3 rating in the 18-49 demographic, which is basically a mediocre rating for The CW, let alone one for ABC. Even if this show doesn’t cost all that much to make outside of paying the host, it still isn’t getting the sort of numbers to justify it taking up prime-time real estate on a very profitable night of the week.

The larger question we have has actually very little to do with Baldwin. Instead, it revolves more around this: Why did ABC think that giving him his own show would work in the first place? Were there a whole lot of people out there saying they would love a talk show starring Alec Baldwin? We have a hard time thinking that this was a thing. Instead, we feel like this rating is more of a function of ABC getting caught up in the appeal of Baldwin’s very-good Here’s the Thing podcast coupled with him playing Donald Trump on SNL. Just because someone is successful on the radio / in podcast form doesn’t mean that millions of people will actually want to watch them on prime-time TV.

To go along with all of this, just look at the recent history of people hosting talk shows in prime-time. Remember what happened when we saw Jay Leno try this over at NBC? That didn’t work, and that was Jay Leno, a guy who had a largely apolitical base during most of his run on The Tonight Show. If he couldn’t get enough viewers from the heartland, why did someone think that Baldwin all of a sudden was going to be the ratings savior for ABC? This was the result that you likely saw coming; it was just hard to see it coming so fast.

While this cancellation is not official, know that it’s all but assured that this series is now dead and buried.

Are you surprised that this is the first show off the air? Share right now in the comments. (Photo: ABC.)

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