NBC cancels high-profile Christian Slater drama

Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:28am EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - NBC has canceled its new spy thriller "My Own Worst Enemy," a show it had promoted heavily during its Olympics telecasts in hopes that it would help revive the struggling network's lineup.

The showbusiness trade papers Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter reported the cancellation in their Thursday editions. It was not clear whether NBC would continue to run the unaired episodes of the Christian Slater vehicle in the 10 p.m. Monday berth behind its flagging series "Heroes."

Also out is its female drama "Lipstick Jungle," one of a number of new shows whose momentum was stalled by the Hollywood writers strike earlier this year.

Despite decent reviews and the star power of Slater in the lead role as a man with two personalities, "My Own Worst Enemy" never clicked with viewers. Its four episodes averaged just 5.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The top show so far this season is CBS' crime drama "CSI" with an average of 21.1 million viewers. NBC's top entry, the veteran cop show "Law & Order: SVU," ranks at No. 25 with 10.6 million viewers.

NBC, which has brought up the rear among the four major networks for the past few years, reportedly boosted its production budget this season to try to make up some ground.

The strategy appears to be falling short. Other NBC newcomers are barely doing better than "Enemy," with the "Knight Rider" remake averaging 7.5 million, and the female comedy "Kath & Kim" 6.2 million. Despite critical acclaim and an Emmy for best comedy, "30 Rock" is averaging just 8.4 million viewers in its third season.

NBC is a unit of General Electric Co's NBC Universal Inc. CBS is a unit of CBS Corp.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Mohammad Zargham)