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October 24, 2014

Three Rivers will spend December on the shelf

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 1st 2009 10:02AM
alex_oloughlin_cbsYou knew it was a bad sign in November when CBS decided to flip flop Cold Case and Three Rivers to test whether it was the time slots that were dictating the sliding ratings of the Sunday night dramas.

The results were hardly conclusive, but consistently drawing less than 2.0 in the demographics has doomed Three Rivers. CBS has pulled Three Rivers off the schedule for December. Merry Christmas, Alex O'Loughlin lovers.

This is the first step to cancellation and anyone who tells you otherwise is blowing smoke. Despite a big star in the center, Three Rivers is an earnest medical drama that's just not catching on with viewers. CBS will complete the 13-episode order and then kiss the show bye-bye.

What happened? Why did this show fail to make the grade? Hard to say, but I think the transplant angle was limiting. Also, the show stumbled out of the gate. It switched cast members from the get-go and then moved production out of Pittsburgh, trying to re-create the look of the Pennsylvania hospital in Los Angeles. None of that would have mattered if the program had some dynamic appeal, but beyond O'Loughlin, it didn't.

As The Hollywood Reporter pointed out, nobody at CBS is in tears over Three Rivers being shelved on the road to the end. The network has produced two successful dramas this fall, NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife. Two out of three is a great track record.

But what about Alex O'Loughlin? It's my belief that CBS will not give up until they find the right vehicle for AO. He'll be back again. I'd bet on it.

In the meanwhile, effective December 6 and for the rest of the month, reruns of NCIS: LA, Criminal Minds and Cold Case will slip into the 10 p.m. slot in Three Rivers' place. But don't set your DVR for any of those Sunday nights because NFL games will be mucking up the schedule for certain.

And don't think for a moment that the screwy schedule didn't hurt Three Rivers. It sure didn't help The Unit last year.

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