NBC has pulled the plug on "Battery Park," canceling the new sitcom--which occupied the coveted Thursday slot between "Frasier" and "ER"--after four telecasts.
The show, an ensemble comedy set in a police squad room that featured actress Elizabeth Perkins, was dropped Friday. Averaging 11.7 million viewers, the series was losing nearly 30% of the audience watching "Frasier" during the preceding half-hour and getting pummeled by ABC's quiz show hit "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."
NBC will play a "Will & Grace" rerun in its place this week and then additional episodes of "Frasier" to fill the void through the remainder of the official TV season and upcoming rating sweeps, which each conclude on May 24.
Another recent addition to NBC's Thursday roster, the family sitcom "Daddio," also ends its trial run this week but has shown more promise ratings-wise and remains a candidate to return in the fall. Both "Friends" and "Frasier" will close their seasons May 18 with special one-hour episodes.
All the broadcast networks must finalize their scheduling decisions by mid-May, when they present next season's prime-time lineups to advertisers. --BRIAN LOWRY