ABC has reportedly given up on “Family Tools,” the sitcom starring Leah Remini and J.K. Simmons as members of a family in the hardware business.
The decision was made after only two episodes had aired, following a decline in the ratings in the show’s second week, according to this story on the Deadline.com Web site.
“Family Tools” premiered on Wednesday, May 1, taking up residence in the 8:30 p.m. time slot (7:30c). In its first week, it drew 5.79 million viewers leading out of “The Middle” (7.41 million) at 8 and leading into “Modern Family” at 9 (9.64 million).
In its second week on May 8, “Family Tools” saw its audience fall to 4.48 million — not a good sign.
Here’s the problem, as ABC’s numbers-crunchers probably saw it: “The Middle” had 6.8 million viewers that evening, which means 2.4 million of them left ABC instead of sticking around to watch “Family Tools.” That’s an intolerable drop-off and, over time, “Family Tools” may have wound up weakening “Modern Family,” which is ABC’s highest-rated comedy and arguably its best show — a series worth protecting.
In addition, ABC and all the other networks are putting the finishing touches on the fall lineups they’re due to announce in New York this week. It’s a particularly bad time to try and launch a low-rated sitcom because every show is under intense scrutiny at this time of year.