NBC cancels 'Do No Harm' after 2 episodes

DO-NO-HARM

What took so long?

NBC has pulled the plug on medical drama Do No Harm.

Sure that might seem like it happened really fast. The series just premiered last Thursday. But the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-themed medical drama was the lowest-rated in-season broadcast scripted series debut in modern history. Last night’s second episode (which the writers ironically titled “Don’t Answer the Phone”) declined even further, down 22 percent in the demo to a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 2.2 million viewers. It didn’t take a brain surgeon — especially one with an evil alter-ego — to figure out this title wasn’t going to stay on the air.

Do No Harm will be replaced by encore broadcasts of Law & Order: SVU for the next two weeks. It marks the second third medical drama to get the ax this season. The others are Fox’s The Mob Doctor and The CW’s Emily Owens MD (actually there’s four if you want to count the conclusion of ABC’s long-running Private Practice).

The move concludes (we hope) a rough Friday at the end of an even rougher week for NBC. The network’s new midseason shows (including Deception and 1600 Penn) haven’t found an audience, and then the heavily promoted Smash returned down sharply in the ratings earlier this week. Then a few hours ago Christina Applegate announced she was departing the troubled sitcom Up All Night, a show in the middle of a creative overhaul transitioning from a single-camera comedy to a more traditional studio-based show in an attempt to boost ratings.

NBC’s one recent sunny headline — which just goes to show how unpredictable this business is — is that constant underdog comedy Community returned for its fourth season stronger than expected in the ratings last night.

To see what NBC has cooking for next season, check out our Fall Drama Pilots 2013 Rundown.

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