It didn’t take long for ABC to decide that “Work It” wasn’t working.
After one airing, ABC’s promotional department was running ads calling the critically reviled comedy a hit.
After two airings, ABC was ready to move on.
Late Friday, ABC sent out a scheduling release announcing that “Work It” has been pulled from the network’s lineup, effective immediately. The cross-dressing comedy will be replaced by repeats of “Last Man Standing” at 8:30 on Tuesdays for at least the next three weeks.
ABC’s release clearly states that the remaining original episodes of “Work It” are “not yet rescheduled,” which theoretically means that “Work it” could return for a summer burn-off.
In its brief run, “Work It” ran afoul of critics for its quality, of GLAAD for its depiction of the transgendered community and Puerto Rican groups for its stereotyping. Those concerns weren’t enough to keep the show off the air, but an audience of under 5 million viewers in its second airing, along with a dismal number among adults 18-49, did the trick.
Speaking with at the Television Critics Association press tour earlier this week, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee explained his decision to pick up the “Mancession” comedy in the first place.
“I looked at our portfolio of shows that we were picking up. Certainly I wanted to bring some new types of shows,” Lee said. “We certainly thought there was room, as we were saying here, for some ambitious shows, for some really sexy, sticky shows like ‘Revenge’ and ‘Scandal,’ and for some really sophisticated, smart shows like ‘Suburgatory.’ I thought there was room, personally, for a very, very, very, very silly show. And I tried it, and it was a little engine. We”ll see whether it does well or badly. It wasn”t our priority when we did the pickups, but certainly it became a cause for discussion.”
Lee’s words came the day before the fateful second episode aired.
This will immediately raise speculation regarding the fate of “Cougar Town,” ABC’s lone midseason comedy without a schedule slot. In the same chat with reporters, Lee said that an announcement would be coming soon on a “Cougar Town” premiere date and that the network had a slot in mind. Was Lee already anticipating Friday’s move?
Adding fuel to the fire late on Friday night were “Cougar Town” creators Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel, who engaged fans on Twitter soon after the “Work It” announcement.
Lawrence tweeted, “Hoping CT’s premiere date will be announced Tuesday. Fingers crossed…”
And Biegel tweeted, “You should all hear very soon about Cougar Town’s return date. Everyone gets a kiss, a hug and a handshake for waiting patiently”