ABC Cancels Hardware Comedy ‘Family Tools’: Report

by | May 12, 2013 at 8:45 AM | Family Tools, TV News

Leah Remini starred in the short-lived "Family Tools" on ABC (Photo: ABC)

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.

“Family Tools” wasn’t all bad — why not watch last week’s episode?

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.