On the other hand, several more comedy pilots got good news: “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea,” “Bent,” “Free Agents” and “BFFs” all were picked up to series on Friday, Deadline reports.
As for the cancellations, neither one is a big surprise. “Law & Order: LA” merits a mild raise of the eyebrows only because of the “L&O” brand’s long history at NBC, but it’s not even the first one-and-done show in the franchise’s history: “L&O: Trial by Jury” lasted only one season in 2005. Its ratings were nothing special either: Although it’s averaging 8 million viewers for the season and a 2.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic, it’s been well below that since its April 11 return/cast shuffle — most episodes have hovered in the 5 million viewer range and been well below the 2.0 mark in the demo.
“The Event,” meanwhile, has declined precipitiously since its big premiere in the fall. Its season numbers (7.3 million viewers, 2.4 demo) also don’t really reflect the show’s recent struggles. The past few episodes have drawn in the 4 million-viewer range. There is, however, apparently an effort under way to keep the show going elsewhere; Netflix has been mentioned as a possible outlet.
The flurry of comedy pickups — the four ordered Friday join two other newcomers, “Up All Night” and “Whitney” — looks like a pretty strong indication that NBC wants to try a second night of comedy next season. Here’s a quick rundown of the four picked up Friday.
“Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” is based on Chelsea Handler‘s book; she also co-stars in the show, but not as herself: Laura Prepon (“That ’70s Show,” “How I Met Your Mother”) plays Chelsea. Julie Ann Larson (“Dharma & Greg,” “The Drew Carey Show” and Dottie Zicklin are its creators.
“Bent” is a rom-com about a Type-A single mom (Amanda Peet) who finds herself falling for the laid-back contractor (David Walton of “Perfect Couples”) who’s remodeling her house. Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”) plays Walton’s dad; “Scrubs” veteran Tad Quill created it.
“BFFs” stars Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham (who also created it) as, you guessed it, best friends. Their relationship is complicated somewhat by the fact that one of them now lives with her boyfriend.
“Free Agents” is based on a Britcom of the same name about two newly single co-workers (Kathryn Hahn and Hank Azaria) who may or may not be just right for each other. Anthony Head (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) is their boss, a role he also played in the British show. “Party Down’s” John Enbom adapted it.