It's hard to remember when a highly touted pilot failed so badly as the debut of "The Firm" Sunday night on NBC.
The series, based on the John Grisham bestseller and Tom Cruise 1993 hit movie, stars Josh Lucas as Mitch McDeere, a lawyer trying to reestablish his life after bringing down a mob law firm, was one of NBC's most touted series for the winter. The series is supposed to air regularly on Thursdays at 10 p.m., replacing the canceled "Prime Suspect."
But only 6.42 million viewers tuned in for Sunday's premiere, by far the lowest debut for a regular season NBC drama ever. How bad was it? "The Firm" drew about half the audience that "The Cape" drew in its debut last year.
It's a bit puzzling, because the show was decent, though not spectacular. But scheduling one legal show against the established "The Good Wife," which was showing a new episode Sunday, probably didn't help.
My guess is that NBC will stick with "The Firm" for at least a couple of weeks to see if it gains any traction on Thursdays, but the network is once again in real trouble, since it had high hopes for both "The Firm" and "Prime Suspect."
Things may look up for NBC once "The Voice" returns in a couple of weeks, along with the debut of the highly anticipated "Smash."
It's tough to watch the network that gave us the likes of "Hill Street Blues," "The Cosby Show," "Seinfeld" et. al. struggle so much, but the Peacock has never really recovered from the disastrous Jeff Zucker era. And it doesn't seem it will do so in the near future.
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Apparently, some networks didn't get the message that the winter season has started already, since Fox is all reruns. CBS, however, has new episodes of "NCIS," "NCIS: LA" and "Unforgettable."
NBC airs "The Biggest Loser," followed by "Parenthood" at 10 p.m. ABC inflicts its "comedies" "Last Man Standing" and "Work It," from 8-9 p.m., followed by "Celebrity Wife Swap" and "Body of Proof."