Yup, it happened: NBC has canceled freshman comedy Free Agents.
The Hank Azaria comedy dropped sharply after its premiere four weeks ago and settled at a 3.3 million viewers and a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating. Repeats of new comedy Whitney will replace the show.
Before the season started, Azaria told EW he expected the show to go for at least 13 episodes, saying new NBC entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt would give the show awhile to find its audience:
“I’m pretty sure we’ll do 13 of these at least,” Azaria said. “Although you really never do know. I mean, the two network shows I’ve had in the past have been yanked after airing two or four [episodes] or something. So there’s always that Sword of Damocles over your head. One of the reasons I came to do this show on NBC was Bob Greenblatt, who was at Showtime when I did Huff, and I really have a lot of faith in him and liked very much working for him. I think he’s pretty committed to letting this show breathe and find an audience if it needs to and get its sea legs before he does anything drastic. You know, famous last words. But what I have learned after 25 years of doing this is you can only really control two things: How much you enjoy what you’re doing and the quality of the shows you put out. And everything beyond that, you might as well not worry about it [laughs] because you really can’t affect it.”
This marks the second new fall show to get the network ax. (The first was NBC’s own Playboy Club.) Earlier this week, NBC also picked up comedies Whitney and Up All Night. Still awaiting a verdict: New Thursday night drama Prime Suspect, which, like Whitney and Free Agents, the network decided to double-down on by putting its repeats in Playboy’s Monday night slot. Plus, NBC still has Grimm coming up on Friday nights. – With additional reporting by Mandi Bierly