You guys really do love to skew things don’t you!
Sony can’t have made a deal with NBC for the show because North American distribution is not owned by Sony. Canada’s favourite E1 is the company making the show “in association with Sony”. Sony commissioned the show for their AXN channels. E1 holds the distribution rights in all formats and media outside of AXN markets. That means the USA and Canada are two such places where Sony doesn’t have distribution rights.
The “super cheap deal for all 22 episodes of The Firm” would have been made by E1 and NBCU. That puts the show in the same class as rookie blue and Combat Hospital and Flashpoint and The Listener. As for “reportedly financing it through overseas syndication” there isn’t much to say but DUH! Sony liked the idea and wanted it for their network outside of North America. It was for those markets that this show was commissioned. NBC is an after-thought.
As for the 3 thresholds for the show’s future that Bill laid out:
* How low can it go and get renewed on NBC for a second season? It’s likely below that already.
** It will go the full 22 episodes no matter what NBC does or doesn’t do.
* How low can it go before it gets moved to Saturday or the summer? Certainly lower than a 1.4. How much lower? Your guess is as good as mine.
** Shaw is in on production of this show and unlike Bell who love to be pushed around by CBS Shaw and Bell both have a spine when it comes to telling NBC things will go ahead as planned with or without NBC. In other words if NBC holds it back for the summer at some point it is almost certainly going to go ahead in Canada as initially planned. Think season 1 of The Listener.
* How low can it go before it gets pulled entirely and never comes back on NBC air? Very low. Again, your guess is as good as mine.
** Again, think The Listener. It’s now into production on season 3.
That all said the overnight numbers for The Firm on Global were not that impressive. 1.075M viewers in Canada with only 0.39M in the A25-54 demographic. The spin is that it did better than (crashing) PAN AM and (lame duck tartare) Desperate Housewives.
I saw a comment about the Chelsea show. Let me just say that when NBC think to take a show based on a book called “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” and rename it to “Are You There Chelsea?” it makes me wonder how ‘there’ the folk at NBC are. Do they not understand the context of the show is rather greatly altered by such a title change? NBC again failed at remaking a British show so now they set their sights on failing to make a show from a book. NBC does have much success in having great failures.
If the average person posting a comment here or on tvseriesfinale or tvbythenumbers can see that how come the big bosses at all the networks never catch on to any of these obvious flaws in new and forthcoming shows that they seem to blindly sing the praises of? Some people have loved the interesting show Shattered that was on a year and a bit ago. When the pilot was made available the more common response was along the lines of ‘why couldn’t they have kept the show like it was in the pilot? It was so much more interesting/better/darker/different’. The pilot of Shattered is what appealed most to its target demographic but the bosses at Blueprint/E1 and CanWest felt the need to go in a different direction. Result: show kinda flopped.
The Firm has E1, Paramount, Sony, and Shaw. Those are some pretty big companies. If the only way things happen is if everyone likes it then with all those fingers in the pie it has the potential to be one of the worst shows ever made because of the potential for lack of cohesive vision and direction. If people trust the creators to present the show they liked in the pitch then it has the potential to be a thrilling serialised legal adventure drama like The Fugitive was five decades ago.