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NBC Drops 'The Law Firm' Reality Series

August 09, 2005|Scott Collins | Times Staff Writer

NBC has delivered a quick verdict on "The Law Firm," dumping the legal reality series from producer David E. Kelley that debuted to low ratings last month, the television network said Monday.

The show, which features celebrity legal analyst Roy Black judging litigators vying for a $250,000 cash prize, delivered a paltry 3.9 million viewers for its second episode Thursday, a plunge of 24% from its July 28 premiere.

"NBC will no longer be broadcasting episodes of 'The Law Firm,' " the network said in a statement. The six remaining episodes will air on Bravo, NBC's sister cable network, on dates that are "yet to be determined," the statement said.

On Thursday, the network will replace "The Law Firm" with repeats of the sitcoms "Will & Grace" and "Scrubs." Starting next week, NBC will fill the slot with two back-to-back repeats of "Scrubs" starting at 9 p.m. Then on Sept. 22, the fourth season of NBC's "The Apprentice" will premiere in the slot.

"The Law Firm" was the first reality series for Kelley, best-known for such scripted series as "Ally McBeal" and "The Practice." The producer's spokeswoman said he was out of the country and unavailable to comment.

Increasingly, networks are yanking reality shows that deliver poor ratings right away, leaving the few viewers who were engrossed in the competition to wonder what might have been. CBS pulled "The Will," about scheming heirs battling for an inheritance, after just one episode in January.

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