ABC Cancels The Assets, Duh

By Tim Surette

Jan 11, 2014

When NBC's Dr. Facehands show Do No Harm debuted to a laughable 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demo, it set a new ratings low and became the worst-rated debut for a scripted series from a major network ever. "It will be a while before another show takes that off the hook," I told myself. Well, myself, I lied. 

ABC's The Assets debuted last Thursday with an embarrassing 0.7 rating, crushing Do No Harm's dubious record in less than a year. The Assets really did some harm to ABC, and ABC paid it back by canceling the series following the second episode's even weaker 0.6 rating and less than three million viewers, according to TV Line

ABC has to take a large portion of the blame here. The network barely marketed the series before it premiered, and announced it by sneaking it into a midseason scheduling announcement with much bigger news around it. When that press release came in, the entire TV.com staff looked around at each other and said, "WTF is The Assets?" Did YOU know what The Assets was?

But The Assets, a Cold War drama about the real-life story of CIA mole Aldrich Ames, was always meant to be a short-run series. Just not this short. Only eight episodes were scheduled, meaning ABC could've easily let it run out to completion if it was feeling nice. But don't worry, if you really want to know how the show was going to end, this site has a nice summary of the whole thing. 

The Assets will be replaced on the schedule by Shark Tank repeats until Scandal returns.


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  • jefffairey Oct 07, 2014

    Congratulations ABC & America for killing a wonderful show that examined a fascinating time in history!

    It appears the masses are too stupid to appreciate this subject & perhaps ABC heads are too incompetent to get the word out about a show that deserves far more attention and praise than it has gotten. It always amazes me how these TV people spend so much money creating these shows and then let them die before anyone seems to be aware of their existence.

    Idiocracy is proving to be sadly more prophetic by the day, smh.....Its only a matter of time until Ow, my Balls! is #1 in the ratings

  • msladyship Jul 20, 2014

    Great news!!!! ABC will be showing the remaining episodes of The Assets!!! It is detailed here:http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2014/07/01/abc-to-now-wrap-the-assets-on-sunday-afternoons-382111/10955/
    If you can’t get that link, the show will run as follows:
    Look for episodes five (“Check Mate”) and six (“Small Useless Truth”) on Sunday, July 27 at 4:00/3:00c and 5:00/4:00c, respectively; and the concluding episodes seven (“The Straw Poll”) and eight (“Avenger”) on Sunday, August 3, likewise at 4:00/3:00c and 5:00/4:00c.
    Read more at http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2014/07/01/abc-to-now-wrap-the-assets-on-sunday-afternoons-382111/10955/#OgUrqeWKT6GzHmFd.99

  • fivecentfamily Mar 25, 2014

    I was afraid it got cancelled. I actually liked this show, and was happy is was going to be a complete story. Too bad it didn't get to finish out it's run. I thought the tension was done VERY well. The scene when he's deciding whether to kill himself or not was one of the most dramatic, suspenseful things I've seen on TV in a LONG time (even though I KNEW he wasn't going to die - that's how good it was). No wonder it got cancelled.

  • stephenftreloar Feb 08, 2014

    I really enjoyed it. It lacked the artificial big budget look and seemed to actually focus on a real story. I liked that the people just looked like regular people too.

  • ted2332 Jan 27, 2014

    Are they going to put the other episodes online, it wasn't great but a lot more worse shows run for years.
    (Here is something a little amusing, I came on here to see what was happening with the show and typed in The Assets in the search box.
    The top entry was this show naturally and the second choice was Pamela Anderson. :)

  • CactusThorn Jan 16, 2014

    *sigh* I had hopes this one would continue. I don't understand why networks seem to underpromote certain new shows and then stuff them in time slots against new episodes of shows like "Elementary." I wonder, can "Shark Tank" reruns really do better?

    We can always hope they'll do something to make the remaining episodes available, perhaps airing them on summer Saturdays like they did with "Zero Hour" and "666 Park Avenue" last year.

  • olavaudun Jan 16, 2014

    I quite enjoyed it, but that^s life...

  • sroberts461 Jan 15, 2014

    Well, that was short and sweet. Pity really, I quite enjoyed it!

  • Acrobit Jan 12, 2014

    It wasn't that interesting, but I didn't love the first episode of The Americans (it was the music, and they learned from that), even though it began much better than The Assets.

    Still, this shows (imo) exactly what would've happened to The Americans had it been shat onto ABC, and since they ended up being fantastic, who can say what The Assets might've become?

    So, to sum it up, screw ABC, once again. And screw NBC. They weren't involved here, but screw them anyway.

  • MarlboroMagpi Jan 11, 2014

    This is really kind of stupid. Its a 8 episode mini-series so you cancelled it after 2 episodes? I must be one of the few fools that actually watched it.

    It is actually not bad. Its not The Americans standard but the cast were quite good and I was intending to watch it till the end.

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