CBS has pulled the plug on sophomore comedy The Millers. The sitcom will film one more episode, so the below-the-line crew gets paid, before shutting down production. The Millers is set to air this coming Monday. The fate of the remaining completed episodes beyond that is unclear but CBS will likely pull the show. While it logged decent numbers behind The Big Bang Theory last season, The Millers has been underwhelming in its new Monday berth, most recently pulling in a 1.5 rating in adults 18-49 in its fourth airing this week. It also has been dragging down CBS’ Monday breakout, new 9 PM drama Scorpion, which has followed it.
CBS has Mike & Molly waiting in the wings. It’s quite possible that, after a combination of Millers originals/Big Bang and other reruns in the Monday 8:30 PM slot through the holidays, the veteran comedy is summoned to Thursday, if CBS sticks with its initial plan of swapping Mom and The Millers in early January, or to Monday, if the network decides to keep Mom on Thursday for the remainder of the season.
CBS’ decision in May to renew The Millers, which was fully owned by the network, despite its poor retention behind The Big Bang, while cancelling several freshman comedy series from other studios – Friends With Better Lives, The Crazy Ones and Bad Teacher — sparked controversy. At TCA in July CBS chairman Nina Tassler defended the choice as based on the network’s faith in The Millers‘ creative potential. The network had been open about its desire to launch an owned comedy series that makes it syndication. All such comedies currently on CBS hail from Warner Bros. TV. The three previous comedy series from The Millers creator Greg Garcia –all for 20th Century Fox TV — Yes, Dear, My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope, went to syndication.
Despite a high-profile new cast addition in Sean Hayes, The Millers was dealt a scheduling setback when CBS opted to launch its second season on Mondays and air it there for a couple of months instead of keep it in the protected post-Big Bang slot as originally planned. The Millers, whose all-star cast included Will Arnett, Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges, never found its groove in the new berth behind 2 Broke Girls, quickly dropping below the delivery of CBS’ predecessor in the slot, the now-defunct Friends with Better Lives.
As for the other struggling CBS comedy, freshman The McCarthys, which just slipped to a new low of a 1.4 in 18-49 last night, the network is not making any decisions yet. CBS just ordered two extra scripts for the multi-camera comedy, a co-production between Sony TV and CBS TV Studios.
The Millers is the latest comedy casualty this fall as the genre continues to struggle on the broadcast networks. It joins freshman half-hour series Bad Judge, A to Z, Selfie and Manhattan Love Story, which have been cancelled, while Fox’s Mulaney had its order reduced. NBC’s Mission Control was scrapped before going to production.