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NBC Cancels New Drama ‘Undercovers’

Nellie Andreeva

Uncovering Why ‘Undercovers’ Went Wrong

It’s the end of the road for J.J. Abrams’ spy drama Undercovers as NBC today decided not to pick up additional episodes from the freshman series beyond the original 13-episode order. The Warner Bros TV-produced show is now filming Episode 12. The news comes on the heels of Undercovers hitting another series low last night when it slipped to a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 demo. The slickly produced light drama, whose pilot was directed by Abrams, broke primetime ground by featuring two black actors as the leads. But it got off to a disappointing start in the Wednesday 8 PM slot and never found traction with viewers. The series will stay on for the next 2 weeks and will air its last original (for now) on December 1. It was already set for preemption on Nov. 24 when NBC is airing a DreamWorks Animation holiday special. The fate of the remaining original Undercovers episodes is unclear. This is the second new NBC series to get cancelled, along with legal drama Outlaw. The rest of NBC’s freshman class all received back-nine orders two weeks ago. At the time, Undercovers got a pickup for four additional scripts.

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TCA: Networks Answer Diversity Questions

By | Sunday August 1, 2010 @ 3:21pm PDT

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

At this 2010 TCA, the issue of depicting diversity on shows has become a key talking point as the broadcast networks present their new programming to the media. First, it was CBS’ Nina Tassler admitting she was disappointed with her outlet’s track record” on depicting gay and lesbian characters after CBS recently received another failing grade from GLAAD.  Then CBS producer/talk host Sarah Gilbert discussed how her lesbian sexual orientation will be part of the story on her show The Talk.  At NBC, much was made of the two black romantic leads in its spy series Undercovers, and the Indian stereotypes on Outsourced. Today, it was ABC’s turn. Its hour-long documentary-style show My Generation (based on the Swedish show “On God’s Highway”) tracks 9 characters through a 10-year-period from high school to young adulthood in Austin, TX. The first question for the panel from TV critics was:  Why no gay character? The show’s creator and executive producer Noah Hawley responded that the audience would be “meeting more characters. We have families and this whole high school class that we can meet over time. We are going to continue to push the diversity. That is really important to us.” Added executive producer Warren Littlefield, “I think there are some gay people in Texas, so – yes.”

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TCA: ‘Undercovers’ Producers Reluctant Trailblazers For Casting Two Black Leads

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Is a spy drama with two black actors as the male-female romantic leads a revolution for network television? At TCA today, the producers of NBC’s upcoming Undercovers, which is just such a show — hemmed and hawed in answering the question that really shouldn’t be a question in 2010 but, well, still is.

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