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.

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-By The Numbers

Since its premiere, The Slap has enjoyed modest ratings. It dipped a bit when it changed timeslots, but for the most part, it has stayed pretty consistent between 3 and 3.5 million viewers with a 0.7-0.8 rating. However, these are not the only numbers that matter. The show has benefited greatly from L+3 viewings. For 2 weeks in a row, The Slap saw a 51% increase in viewers with L+3 numbers. This meant that it gained 1-1.1 million viewers with this delay. In this era of changing viewing habits, these are not numbers that should be ignored.

The show also has a 116 index of adults living in homes with $100K incomes. This upscale audience is likely to bring in desirable advertisers for NBC, which could be a contributing factor as to why the show hasn’t gotten cancelled. If the network is making money from advertisers, they won’t worry as much about the modest ratings.

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.

The Slap Post 3

This week, ratings of The Slap went down after a disappointing premiere and luke-warm reviews. Instead of writing about that (since I’m sure I’ll be doing that in the coming weeks), I want to discuss what the show has working for it. First of all, the cast is phenomenal. With names like Peter Sarsgaard, Zachary Quinto, Uma Thurman and Thandie Newton, the cast seems like they should be part of an underrated independent film, not a miniseries on NBC. Besides that, it has some great names behind the camera. Lisa Cholodenko, the Oscar nominated director/writer of The Kids Are All Right, directed 7 of the 8 episodes. The series was created by Jon Robin Baitz, who worked for the successful Brothers & Sisters for ABC, and Walter F. Parkes, a three-time Oscar nominee.

When I look at these names, people who have in the past done truly amazing work, I get excited about The Slap. They all seem like names that would be better suited for cable television, but they have found a (somewhat hostile) home on network television. Though it doesn’t seem hopeful that many more viewers will find this show in the next six weeks, The Slap is a show that works on paper.

The Slap Premieres

The Slap premiered last Thursday to less than stellar ratings. It earned a 1.1 rating, with a 4 share in the 18-49 group. Its total viewership was 5.1 million overall. It had a decent amount of competition, which is important to consider. It went up against ratings powerhouse The Big Bang Theory, which got higher numbers despite being a repeat. On Fox and ABC, it was up against American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy respectively, two shows with a loyal and established audience. On the bright side, The Slap was NBC’s second best regular programming timeslot result this season. Time will tell if it get gain an audience in the coming weeks.

As far as reviews for the show, it currently holds a 5.4/10 on IMDb. The reviews themselves are mixed, but most find the characters to be terrible people which could prove to be problematic. They also praise NBC for taking a risk and making a show one would expect to see on Showtime or HBO, not broadcast.