/// They Took My Show Away!

April 26, 2013  |  Media Week

On the eve of the broadcast upfronts, fans of network television would do well to recall the lessons of the classic Late Night with David Letterman bit, “They Took My Show Away.” A series of lacerating observations about the state of TV programming disguised as a heart-to-heart chat between Dave and a boy who is crushed to discover that NBC has canceled his favorite show (Voyagers!), the faux After-School Special is as relevant now as it was when it first aired back in 1983. “You know Jimmy, I remembered when they cancelled the Six Million Dollar Man. Boy! I thought my world was gonna end,” Letterman says toward the tail end of the bit. “But then The Fall Guy premiered and my prayers were answered. Sure, it was a different time, slightly different format, but I adjusted … and you know what? I grew a little in the process, too.” Take heed, fans of underperforming NBC series Deception, 1600 Penn, Guys With Kids, The New Normal, Up All Night, Whitney, Smash and Hannibal—these shows are your Voyagers! While NBC has yet to officially render judgment on the aforementioned roster, all eight shows are certain to disappear on May 13, when NBC announces its 2013-14 prime-time schedule. Not a single one of them delivered so much as a 2.0 in the 18-49 demo; in fact, The New Normal was the highest-rated of the bunch, averaging

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