UPDATED: “How to Be a Gentleman” has been canceled after only two episodes have aired, making the CBS sitcom the fourth new network series to be axed so far in the new season. The news that “Gentleman” has already ceased production was reported here following the news that CBS had pulled “Gentleman” from its Thursday lineup and would move it to Saturday nights (see story below). But it turns out the Saturday move is being made in order to simply burn off the episodes that have already been produced — a total of nine, according to TV Guide. The other canceled shows are “The Playboy Club” and “Free Agents” on NBC, and “H8R” on the CW.
PREVIOUSLY: Is this any way to treat a gentleman? Apparently, it is — when the gentleman in question is creating a sinkhole in an otherwise stellar lineup of high-rated TV shows.
That was the situation with the new CBS sitcom “How to Be a Gentleman,” which scored ratings far lower than the network’s other Thursday night shows in its first two outings.
As a result, CBS is shunting “Gentleman” to Saturday nights and moving “Rules of Engagement” out of a planned Saturday slot to Thursday.
“Gentleman” got two chances to prove itself — in its premiere Sept. 29 and in Episode Two this past Thursday (Oct. 6). But the series, airing at 8:30/7:30c, drew 8.98 million for its premiere and the fell to 7.58 million in Week Two, according to Nielsen national ratings.
Those numbers might have been more than enough to sustain a Thursday-night sitcom on NBC, but this is CBS, and those 8:30 tallies represented steep drop-offs from the new sitcom’s lead-in, “The Big Bang Theory” (14.74 million and 13.92 million, respectively). CBS still won both Thursdays, despite the weakness at 8:30.
Still, networks hate losing that many viewers from show-to-show and the decision was made that “Gentleman” would have to go. However, the series isn’t being canceled outright. Instead, it’s being moved to 8:30/7:30c on Saturdays, starting Oct. 15, where it will become part of a lineup of repeats and “48 Hours Mystery.” CBS announced the switch late Friday.
The show will swap time slots with “Rules of Engagement,” which was due to start its sixth season in the Saturday slot but will now get an opportunity to try and prove itself in the much higher-profile Thursday slot. This should make series star Patrick Warburton happy — he complained late last summer about his sitcom being exiled to Saturday nights when network viewing levels are at their lowest. However, this new move is a double-edged sword — now “Rules” really has to demonstrate it can cut the mustard on Thursdays.
A repeat episode of “The Big Bang Theory” will air at 8:30/7:30c next Thursday. “Rules of Engagement” takes over the slot a week later, on Oct. 20.