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.