January 28, 2014

THE SKED: “Sean” Leaves the World Unsaved


NBC has pulled the plug on SEAN SAVES THE WORLD, its misbegotten Sean Hayes vehicle.  The series has aired 12 of its 14 completed episodes (a total of 18 had been ordered), and it’s not yet clear what will be replacing it on Thursdays–the network will use its upcoming Olympics break (an SNL special was already scheduled for this week) to figure out what to do next.  Also unclear:  if or when the last 2 episodes will air.

The ratings for Sean were horrific, so it certainly wasn’t going to survive beyond its 18-episode order even in the best possible scenario; NBC seems to have decided to end the agony a bit early.  Some may wonder how THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW, its partner in futility, is still drawing breath, and the answer, as is usually the case, is financial.  NBC’s in-house Universal Television studio produces Sean, so NBC can cut the order and face relatively minimal additional costs.  Michael J. Fox is owned by Sony Television, and has a 22-episode order in its pocket; even if NBC pulled it off the air, Sony could make the network pay close to full price for everything ordered.  (Also, Sony happens to produce The Blacklist, the closest thing NBC has had to a scripted hit in quite a while, so likely the network doesn’t want to make unnecessary waves with them.)

One additional note:  after Smash and now this, Megan Hilty may want to try her luck with a different network this pilot season.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."