Blair Underwood’s Ironside Gets Axed By NBC
Blair Underwood’s show Ironside is now a causality of NBC’s deadly ax after the show failed to bring in impressive ratings. NBC announced its cancellation today. Viewership was average and consistent over the first 3 episodes, but not good enough to meet expectations for NBC Wednesday prime time (Variety reports 4.9 million viewers on the 16th). So-so performance is simply unacceptable for NBC primetime, which begs a question. Why was the network trying to remake an old show?
The original Ironside was set in the 1960s. At that time, the idea of a television character in a wheelchair was a novelty to audiences. Leave It To Beaver was a hit show. This was the decade where the interracial kiss on Star Trek was newsworthy.
But its not 1960 anymore. Having one distinguished element, like a character in a wheel chair, is not enough to set the show apart from another police procedural or attract big audiences. NBC should have embellished the show a lot more. Historically television remakes have been hit or miss. Whether they are remakes of classic shows, like Ironside, or American remakes of popular British shows, they are unpredictable. Those that are successful have to be more aggressive than their predecessors. Do you think Ironside was missing a spark?