Scoop: ‘NCIS’ Renewed 11th Season, Dick Wolf Finally Responds to ‘SVU’ Controversy, ‘Do No Harm’ Possibly Canceled
February 3, 2012
I know what everyone wants me to talk about first, Dick Wolf responding three days short of former boxer and convicted rapist Mike Tyson’s controversial (to say the least) episode of Law & Order: SVU. I’ll get to that in a second, because I have an opinion.
But first, on Friday, February 2nd; CBS choose to renew their ratings powerhouse drama, NCIS an eleventh season, plus extending a new deal for series star and executive producer, Mark Harmon (Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs).
According to Deadline, details about Harmon’s deal are being kept under wraps. They hear it is likely for two years and gives him a healthy raise over the most recent salary of more than $500,000 an episode, possibly over $700,000 an episode. In addition to starring, Harmon, repped by Paradigm and attorney Barry Axelrod, serves as an executive producer/profit participant on NCIS and has a production deal with CBS TV Studios for his company Wings Prods.
“In a world gone niche, NCIS keeps getting bigger, and Mark Harmon continues to define the role of leading man on the #1 show on television, NCIS is the type of franchise every company wants in today’s global content ecosystem — high-quality storytelling that generates passionate viewers and drives revenue on every conceivable platform.“ — CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, Deadline
Good on NCIS, they deserve it! And I’m 100% sure in the coming months, spin-off, NCIS: LA will follow with a fifth season renewal.
Next, what was often praised as “NBC’s next breakout hit” (really?), has obviously broke down. Do No Harm premiered on NBC after a new episode of The Office (1.9/5% share in 18-49 age demo/3.97 million total viewers) and well, it appears to be DOA (dead on arrival). The pilot episode written by creator David Schulner and directed by Michael Mayer earned a dismal 3.12 million total viewers and 0.9/3% share in the age 18-49 demographic. OUCH! Deadline has some pretty interesting reasons why viewer ship was down (not interesting enough, bad lead-in, barely known series lead – Steven Pasquale), although Law & Order vet Alana de la Garza and The Cosby Show’s Phylicia Rashād also star).
I place the blame on the time slot in general, it’s been a dead slot for NBC for the past four or five years (if not longer). Rock Center with Brian Williams [which premiered and] has since been a meek (but cheap) news series for NBC ratings wise. And NBC had some now-canceled clunkers fill it last year: Awake, The Firm, and Prime Suspect. Probably the one show that might hold down this slot on NBC now, is (maybe) and was ER.
Now according to Deadline, NBC didn’t rush to cancel Do No Harm, the executives there were as puzzled by the poor ratings like everybody else (I myself was expecting 5-6 million and a 1.9-2.3 demo/6-7% share), but NBC will likely cancel it next week, unless Do No Harm‘s ratings miraculously rebound, something that has yet to happened to a series in this slot. Maybe SVU show runner Warren Leight will bring Alana de la Garza back into the Law & Order world – I highly doubt it though.
Finally, I’m down to the skinny on the controversy that still surrounds Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, another one of NBC’s clunkers (just a slightly higher rated one, for now). Creator Dick Wolf has FINALLY chosen to respond to all this rigmarole and it’s not good, because he is for the episode as well (Go figures).
“It focuses on what can happen when there is an emotionally charged rush to judgment and it is, in my opinion, one of our strongest episodes in the last five years,“ – Dick Wolf, Deadline
One of their strongest in the last five years?! Has creator Dick Wolf – who has new firefighter drama, Chicago Fire, on fire at NBC – lost his f[explicit]g mind?! In my opinion, half of SVU’s 12th season (under former show runner Neal Baer) was “strongest in the last five years” two of my personal favorites, “Mask” and “Totem” (with The Borgias Jeremy Irons).
As a commenter on Deadline stated, the casting of Mike Tyson on SVU was done to bring in ratings and cause stir around the series – which it hasn’t had major stir since Christopher Meloni departed in 2011. I see the Change.org petition against Mike Tyson on the series is about to touch 15,000 signatures (shy by 76 signs at the moment) while the GoPetition.com petition against current show runner Warren Leight is about touch 60.
Hit them comments guys: Are you glad NCIS is renewed (of course you are)? Do you think Do No Harm has a future? Should SVU change hands or follow it’s sibling and mother series to the TV graveyard? Hit us up!