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'A Gifted Man' Sees Final Days On CBS

Its rating would be great for other networks, but not at The Eye

Seriously, a 5.7 rating/10 share is hardly anything to sneeze at.

It's good for a spot in network television's top 35, but it's simply not good for CBS, which already owns half the top 30.

CBS quietly cancelled "A Gifted Man" Thursday, ending yet another Friday program with ratings that would be considered absolutely amazing for any other network.

Starring Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Ehle, "Gifted Man" is about a surgeon named Michael Holt (Wilson) who starts getting feedback on life from beyond the grave of his late ex-wife (Ehle).

The series pilot was helmed by fame movie director Jonathan Demme, but the show never really picked up with fans. It premiered to a 6.2/11 on Sept. 23, according to Fast National overnight ratings from The Nielsen Co., but dropped 13 percent from its debut to the 5.4 household rating range where it would stay pretty much the rest of its run.

The show averaged a 5.6/9 in the 8 p.m. timeslot, but ended up actually doing better when it was moved back an hour to the slot normally held by "CSI: New York." There it averaged a 6.1/10, actually building from its "Undercover Boss" lead-in.

Even at 8, "Gifted Man" was beating the numbers CBS earned from the timeslot the year before, and actually did slightly better than its replacement show, "Undercover Boss."

It finished No. 7 among new shows, behind four CBS programs -- "Person of Interest," "Unforgettable," "2 Broke Girls" and "Rob" -- as well as "The X-Factor" on Fox and "Once Upon a Time" on ABC.

Although it was No. 16 out of 18 shows on CBS' schedule, the fact is, it would be higher on the list for any other network. If it had maintained the same rating, it would be No. 2 on NBC (behind only "The Voice"), No. 7 on ABC and No. 3 on Fox. For NBC and Fox, it would be the top-rated scripted show, beating out "Harry's Law" on NBC and "Touch" on Fox.

But it ended up on CBS, a network whose average rating is a 7.4/12, so it's considered expendable.

It is possible that the production shingle behind "Gifted Man," Baer Bones and Timberman-Beverly Productions, could shop the series around, but it's unlikely any major network would be interested in picking it up. But seeing the ratings and what it could do to boost a network's schedule, the possibility always exists.

CBS has already renewed 15 shows and officially only cancelled one other show so far, "How to be a Gentleman." Last April, Inside Blip listed "Gifted Man" as a show that was "About to Pop."

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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