Yesterday, NBC finally pulled the plug on three series that it had not yet made a decision about, The Enemy Within, The Village, and Abby’s. The first two were very bad and completely irredeemable, while Abby’s had all the right ingredients for a good sitcom but had not yet figured out how to mix them together properly. Six episodes is not nearly enough time to figure it out, but I’m not so sure there were enough viewers willing to stick around long enough to see if it could figure it out.
Natalie Morales is fantastic, though, and I hope she lands somewhere else quickly. She’s had such crap luck in otherwise excellent shows (Santa Clarita Diet was also canceled this year, and I’ll never forgive Fox for sh*tcanning The Grinder well before its time).
Last week, NBC also canceled A.P. Bio. That, friends, was a heartbreaker. I’ll concede that I wasn’t completely sold on the series in its first season — Glenn Howerton was a little too much Dennis Reynolds, he dominated the show, and the revenge premise didn’t have as much mileage as I might have thought — but this is a show that had completely figured out the right alchemy. It had settled on what kind of show it wanted to be, and it was crushing it at Happy Endings season two levels. Howerton’s character, Jack, had softened a little, they’d brought in a brilliant love interest in Elizabeth Alderfer; Patton Oswalt and Paula Pell had fully gelled as a great comedy duo; the supporting teachers — Lyric Lewis, Mary Sohn, and Jean Villepique — had found their place in the show; and even several of the students had managed to not only differentiate themselves but steal several scenes (Eddie Leavy killed it on one of last night’s episodes, and Allisyn Ashley Arm is damn near a weekly highlight). Creator Mike O’Brien had found the right amount to use Howerton, and he’d elevated the rest of the cast so much so that it was beginning to turn into a Superstore-like sitcom, where viewers might have a different favorite character every week.
Also, former SNL‘er Brooks Wheelan showed up in one of last night’s episodes, and he was fantastic. I didn’t even realize I missed that guy until I saw him again.
There is a Save A.P. Bio campaign going on at the moment, and social media has been behind it. I don’t know the numbers. I don’t know if it has a chance. I don’t know if NBC would reconsider, or if another network will or even can pick it up, or if having a number of big-name celebrities tweet their support for the series will make a difference. I suspect what might make a difference is if thousands of people decided to binge-watch season two this weekend and boost its Hulu numbers. Viewers would also get a lot of solid entertainment value out of that, too. It’s well worth your time. The sitcom is in the zone, and I feel confident that — should NBC decide to bring it back — the show could create a very profitable second-life on streaming platforms that would last for years to come.
Header Image Source: NBC