Life After The Slap

As far as the internet is concerned, The Slap never existed. Where many shows, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones come to mind, engage viewers the entire year (including the off-season), The Slap has had little to no activity since its finale. On April 7th, five days after the season/series finale, its Twitter and Facebook posted the same thing. They each posted the same quote with a picture of the cast. The most recent news article is from April 4th, just two days after the finale. This seems like a surefire sign that the rumors of cancellation are true. If no one is talking about a show, there’s no reason to keep it on air.

The quote on the social media posts was, “At some point you’ve got to decide what kind of person you’re going to be.” The Slap had to decide what kind of show it wanted to be. It apparently chose to be a show that no one was really going to miss.

American Odyssey: The Pilot

American Odyssey debuted on Easter Sunday in the 10 o’clock slot on NBC.  TV By the Numbers reported that it received a 1.2 rating and a 4 share with 5.4 million total viewers in 18-49.  It beat Battle Creek on CBS in 18-49 ratings and share, but lost in total viewership.  Battle Creek received a .7 rating and 2 share, but had 5.6 million total viewers. A.D.: The Bible Continues was the lead in which brought in 9.5 million total viewers, so there was a significant drop-off between the two programs, but I attribute that to the biblical nature of A.D. on Easter Sunday.

The first episode has received mixed reviews so far, with slightly more positive feedback than negative.  American Odyssey has a 55% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 59% on Metacritic– not overwhelmingly good, but not terrible for the first episode of a television series.  Critics are saying that there are too many storylines going on that are too contrived.  Another critique of the show is that there are a few lapses in logic and coincidences that held advance the storyline. Positive reviews of the show have complimented the complex storyline calling it clever and fresh.  It is difficult to make a conspiracy story with a unique story that also sticks as close as it can to reality, and it seems to me that American Odyssey is accomplishing that pretty successfully.


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The End of The Slap

The Slap finished this week with 3.13 million total viewers, a number mostly on par with the rest of the season. The episode seemed to wrap everything up nicely. The slapper received his punishment, the parents of the slapped child were taught a lesson and, in a time jump, they all learned to coexist. For a show called The Slap, it doesn’t seem like there is anywhere to go from here. Though one of the producers of the show was holding onto hope that there would be a season 2, it looks like that is not going to happen. According to, NBC has confirmed that Thursday’s episode was its last. The mediocre ratings could just not justify continuing with the show. Plus, with a Metacritic score of 62, it wasn’t exactly a critics’ darling that could score the network any prestigious awards.

The Slap has been through a lot of criticism in its 8 weeks. It’s hard not to argue the show’s wasted potential. With such a great cast, big names behind the scenes and the support of NBC, this show could have been a very interesting turn for the struggling network. Instead, it filled its episodes with wildly unlikable characters and became yet another one season wonder. In this day and age, it is always possible this show will find new life elsewhere (i.e. Netflix, Hulu) but I highly doubt it has that kind of dedicated fan following.

The Slap-Beyond the Screen

It seems as though The Slap is getting more comfortable in its new 10 pm timeslot on NBC. After taking a hit on 3/12 and dropping to 2.74 million viewers with a 0.6/2 rating, it rose closer to the numbers from previous weeks with 3.18 million viewers and a 0.7/2 rating. With 2 episodes left, I expect the ratings to stay around this zone.

The Slap was recently prominently featured in a New York Times article. A woman who lives in Brooklyn (where the show takes place) was walking down the street and nearly run over by a young boy on a scooter, prompting her to yell an expletive at the child. His mother was appalled but the “victim’s” community (read: Facebook friends) supported her actions, some even feeling she didn’t go far enough. It seems these kinds of discussions on parenting styles are being fueled by the show. Even if they haven’t seen it, the people of Brooklyn have an opinion. One resident said, “These are some of the most hateful people you will find, until, of course you leave your apartment.” So even if The Slap isn’t winning in the ratings, they seem to have struck a cord of realism, at least in their New York setting.

The Slap–New Timeslot

Following the cancellation of another new show, AllegianceThe Slap moved to NBC’s 10 pm timeslot on March 12th. This perhaps would have been the slot to start off the show, not to move it to halfway through the episodes. Due to its slightly risque subject matter and somewhat explicit scenes, the 10 pm slot makes more sense for the miniseries. The change also led to a drop in the already low numbers. The show lost over a million viewers when it aired at 10. Perhaps this is also because NBC didn’t properly advertise the change. I only knew about it because I read the trades and am looking out for news about the show. I never saw any advertisements informing viewers that the show would now be on at 10. These ratings also seem to indicate that there is little to no chance of a second season. Since it has been dubbed a miniseries, NBC will likely air the remaining episodes but that will be all we see of The Slap.

The Slap – Post 4

This week, ratings for The Slap are down yet again. Its rating declined by 0.1, which is not as bad as the week before, but still is not ideal. However, Bob Greenblatt, head of NBC Entertainment, has no regrets about the show. He told Variety earlier this week, “I’m very happy with the critical acclaim and the quality of “The Slap.” I’m not going to regret doing something that is really high quality, but I am disappointed in the rating not being higher.” NBC is standing behind its programming, even if viewers are not flocking to it as they hoped.

One reason for this lack of viewers could be the show’s lackluster social media activity. Their Twitter, at just under 4,500 followers, does not really interact with the viewers. Instead, it live tweets during the show and posts about the upcoming episode. Occasionally, it will retweet a kind word from a viewer, but this does not seem to promote much audience engagement. Perhaps, if it had a larger social media presence, more people would know about the show and get excited about it.

Allegiance Week Four

The Future of “Allegiance” Looks Bleak

The ratings continued to fall further this week for NBC’s “Allegiance”.  The show pulled in a .8 rating in 18-49 with a 3 share and 3.36 million total viewers, down from last week’s also low .9 rating.  This week the Thursday 10 o’clock hour looked a little different than usual.  “Allegiance” was slated up against the Victoria’s Secret Swim Special on CBS which did slightly better with a 1.0 rating/ 3 share and 4.02 million total viewers in 18-49. ABC had a special two hour Season 1 finale episode of  “How to Get Away with Murder” from 9-11, which pulled in 8.97 million total viewers for a 2.8 rating/9 share.  It will be interesting to see how the numbers of “The Blacklist” and “Allegiance” are affected now that “How to Get Away with Murder” is off until the fall.  “American Crime” will be premiering in the time slot next week which seems like it will be relatively successful from the reviews.  “Elementary” will be back on at its normal time next week as well.

Allegiance is bringing in Giancarlo Esposito who was in Breaking Bad as a new character in March to play an enemy.  In response to that, they did a live Facebook Q&A with him this past Thursday.  The Q&A generated only a little activity.  There were about 70 questions asked and the post got 266 likes.  Seeing as their social media activity is usually so low, I think it would benefit them to do more of these fan engagement types of Facebook and Twitter things instead of posting random promotional graphics sporadically throughout the week.  They seem to be engaging more than before with fans on Twitter and have been retweeting more fan posts, which doesn’t really do much but shows activity.

Here’s the preview for the episode with Giancarlo Esposito:

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Allegiance Week Three

“Allegiance” Hangs On

The outlook of the third episode of NBC’s “Allegiance” is not as dismal as the second week, but things are still not looking good for the series.  Last Thursday, February 19, the show brought in a .9 rating/3 share and 3.38 million total viewers, up slightly from .7 rating in 18-49.  The episode was filmed in Philadelphia and the plot line was based around the Masonic Temple.  NBC Thursday night as a whole continues to struggle to succeed with it’s new programming, it came in behind ABC, CBS, and Fox with a 1.1 rating /3 share for adults 18-49.  “Allegiance” came in third in its time-slot behind “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Elementary”.  “How to Get Away With Murder” won the 10 o’clock hour by a larger margin– it brought in a 2.8 rating/ 9 share and 8.84 million total viewers for adults 18-49.  Its lead-in “The Blacklist” matched last weeks ratings of the lowest of the season and is not bringing in the amount of viewers that as they would like it to.

Maybe the reason for such unsuccessful ratings for “Allegiance” is the lack of star-power.  Writer-director George Nolfi is responsible for writing “The Adjustment Bureau” and “The Bourne Ultimatum” has a background in action/drama shows similar to “Allegiance”. The show’s biggest star is Hope Davis who made multiple appearances on the HBO show “The Newsroom” as well as the movie “A Special Relationship” where she played Hillary Clinton.  While she has a vast portfolio of past work, she doesn’t seem to have a strong following as she doesn’t even have a twitter account.  Her “Allegiance” husband Scott Cohen gathered his following as Max Medina on “Gilmore Girls” and starred in the USA show “Necessary Roughness”.  He has just under six thousand twitter followers. NBC placed a series order for “Allegiance” in early May during upfront season along with the two other terrorism-dramas “State of Affairs” and “Odyssey”.  Perhaps they missed the mark on the topic that their viewers wanted to watch as they planned their midseason lineup.

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Allegiance Week Two

NBC “Allegiance” Flops During Week Two

The executives at NBC were in for a disappointing Thursday night.  “Allegiance” premiered its second episode this week to extremely lacking results.  The show received a .7 rating and 2 share for 18-49 with 3.65 million total viewers.  It was the lowest performing in its 10 o’clock Thursday night time-slot behind CBS’s elementary with 7.9 million viewers and ABC’s how to get away with murder with 8.44 million total viewers.  NBC’s strategy to place it directly after “The Blacklist” does not appear to be working, and this week “The Blacklist” brought in the lowest ratings it has seen since it was on Monday nights with a 2.4 rating/7 share.  Although the numbers were a little lower than usual, it is still bringing in more viewers than the usual NBC Thursday night comedy lineup.  Most sources and critics online are expecting “Allegiance” to be cancelled pretty rapidly and I would not be surprised if they were right.

The other critique of the show is that it is too similar to FX’s “The Americans”.  After a second episode, the feedback generally is that they are different enough, but “Allegiance” falls short considering the success of “The Americans” has not been overwhelming– this week it received a .3 rating 18-49 with just under one million viewers.  Saturating the marketplace with another cold war era spy shows when the demand is not high was not a good programming decision.

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