ABC pulls ‘Mind Games’ for ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’

It has been another short network TV run for Kyle Killen. 

On Thursday (March 27) afternoon, ABC pulled “Mind Games” effective immediately.

That's what happens when you draw 2.06 million viewers and do a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49. Those were the numbers for this past Tuesday's airing of “Mind Games” and they proved to much for ABC to bear, especially with plenty of inventory on the shelf.

On April 1 and April 8, ABC will air encores of “Resurrection” in the Tuesday 10 p.m. hour. Then, starting on April 15, ABC will premiere a new season of “Celebrity Wife Swap,” with Daniel Baldwin and Jermaine Jackson claiming to be celebrities in the premiere.

The yanking of “Mind Games” after only five episodes completes a dismal year of scripted programming for ABC in that Tuesday 10 p.m. slot. “Lucky 7” was the season's first cancellation after only two airings. After months of filler, ABC premiered “Killer Women” in January, but that only aired six episodes. After the truncated “Mind Games” run, you can be sure ABC is avoiding looking back at the numbers “Body of Proof” and “Private Practice” did in this time period. 

Encoring “Resurrection” will serve two purposes: First, after a fantastic premiere, “Resurrection” has dropped hard in recent weeks. Reairing episodes will get “Resurrection” additional exposure on ABC's schedule, but it will also serve as a reminder that not everything ABC programmed this midseason was a disaster. In addition to “Mind Games” and “Killer Women,” ABC's spring premieres also included “The Assets,” which aired twice. ABC has done a tiny bit better with “Mixology,” which is shedding “Modern Family” viewers at a rate that will almost certainly prevent renewal, but not at a rate that would force ABC to  abruptly pull the plug, though this week's plummet from 10.09 million and a 3.6 rating among adults 18-49 for “Modern Family” to 4.85 million and a 1.6 key demo rating for “Mixology” may be getting mighty close. 

And for Killen? Well, with five airings, “Mind Games” is ahead of the two airings for “Lone Star,” but behind the full 13 episodes that NBC gave “Awake.”

I loved the pilot for “Lone Star” and quite liked the second episode and I was also a big fan of “Awake.” Unfortunately, “Mind Games” felt to me like Killen trying to make compromises to secure a network success, but not knowing exactly how to make those compromises. The show's premise was difficult to explain — Something about troubled brothers using one brother's expertise with physical clues and psychological tells and the other brother's expertise at conning people into helping clients — both to viewers and to the other people on the show and the three episodes I watched were mostly exposition and over-acting. Sad. Trust me when I say that Killen's explanation of the backdrop at TCA press tour in January was more interesting than what the TV show ended up being.

Hopefully Killen will look to cable with his next show.

And how about Christian Slater's status as a TV star? “My Own Worst Enemy” aired nine episodes on NBC. “The Forgotten” made it a relatively full 17 episodes on ABC. FOX's “Breaking In” aired seven episodes, was cancelled, was renewed after lobbying by Deadline.com, aired five episodes in a second season and then was cancelled again.

Oh and, of course, “Mind Games” isn't really “cancelled.” At least not officially. That's not the way these things go. It'll just go on the shelf and ABC will “decide its fate” in May.

Will anybody miss “Mind Games”? And is anybody excited to have “Celebrity Wife Swap” back?