ABC has done the inevitable — pulling biblical drama Of Kings and Prophets off the air after two very, very low-rated airings. Beginning next Tuesday, March 22, Shark Tank offshoot Beyond The Tank will take over the 10 PM Tuesday time slot for the remainder of the season. Of Kings and Prophets has become the latest ABC scripted casualty in the hour.
Of Kings and Prophets opened with a dismal 0.8 Live+same day rating in adults 18-49. That was below the underwhelming start of ABC’s short-lived drama Wicked City (0.9) in the hour last fall (it launched against the opening game of the World Series) to mark a new low for a non-Friday series premiere on the Big 4 networks this season. Then Of Kings of Prophets dropped almost -40% to a 0.5 18-49 in its second outing earlier this week, a ratings level rarely seen for an original program on a Big 4 network.
Of Kings and Prophet‘s downward ratings trajectory was similar to that of Wicked City, which was cancelled after dropping to a 0.4 — a record low for a Big 4 telecast this season — in Week 3.
When after the upfronts ABC pulled Of Kings and Prophets from the fall schedule — where it had been originally slotted on Sundays — for tweaking and recasting, there was speculation that the series would be scrapped altogether the way Fox did with its ancient world drama Hieroglyph a few years back following a similar underwhelming response at the network’s upfront presentation. In hindsight, it may have been a wise decision for ABC to pull the plug and cut its losses after the pilot, but I hear the biblical drama had support at the highest levels of Disney-ABC.