CBS cancels 'Made in Jersey': What went wrong?

Yahoo Contributor Network

CBS was the first network to cancel a new fall TV show, choosing to drop the ax on "Made in Jersey" after just two episodes. The legal drama starred Jane Montgomery as a Jersey lawyer with big hair and plenty of attitude who does her best to fit in at an upscale New York City firm. So what happened to the show that caused its quick demise?

Ratings

CBS enjoys a very big viewership for its slate of popular dramas and can afford to be choosy about what they put on the air. "Made in Jersey" debuted to 7.8 million viewers, which would be fairly impressive on a number of other channels. Even the 6.7 million it earned the next week won the time slot, but a one million-plus drop is not a slide CBS would ignore. The nail in the coffin came with the drop to a measly 0.8 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic.

Reviews

"Made in Jersey" didn't make a strong case for itself in the premiere, with a thin plot weighed down with heavy stereotypes and cliches. The crux of the show was to have Martina (Montgomery) struggling against the challenges of being successful among people who looked down on her, but the plot never threw more than a tiny speed bump in her path. By the end of the first episode, the Jersey girl had won a major murder case and earned the respect of everyone around her.

The Hollywood Reporter dubbed it "flat and lifeless," and BuddyTV attacked it as "a blow to legal dramas and to New Jersey." The show was well-meaning and had a cast full of appealing, capable actors, but the writing in the first two episodes didn't elevate it enough to hook a big crowd.

Wrong network?

The lighthearted nature of "Made in Jersey" seemed a better fit for one of the cable networks, like USA or TNT. The ratings would probably have suited those stations better, too, and the show might have had a chance to develop into a higher-quality offering. As of now, however, "Made in Jersey" is canceled and has been removed from the schedule.

In its place, CBS will air reruns of "NCIS" and "Hawaii Five-O" until the new season of "Undercover Boss" premieres in that time slot on Nov. 2.

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