Mailbag: Is 'Harry's Law' NBC's 'The Good Wife?'

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

April 30th, 2012

'Harry's Law' will be renewed, you'll see just how wrong you are!  Harry's Law is NBC's 'The Good Wife' and will be renewed!

San Antonio, TX

There's no question that if Harry's Law is renewed that Bill and I will view it as monumentally wrong.

Though Kathy Bates has an Oscar from 22 years ago, I don't sense the Emmy buzz and critical acclaim for Harry's Law that exists for The Good Wife, though it's possible I missed it.

CBS has the luxury of shows that perform very, very well.  NBC doesn't have a The Big Bang Theory or an NCIS that effectively allows CBS to subsidize a low-rated critical darling like The Good Wife in the hopes of making it back in syndication. And whatever its syndication prospects, The Good Wife will have enough episodes for stripped syndication after next season. Moreover, where The Good Wife is produced by CBS, Harry's Law isn't produced by NBC -- it's produced by Warner Bros. NBC can't benefit from the prospect of syndication other than receiving licensing discounts from Warner Bros and with Harry's Law more than 2 seasons away from the episodes necessary for syndication it's hard to imagine Warner Bros giving the show away and it's reasonable to question whether NBC can afford more Harry's Law even if it was free.

Harry's Law is probably more closely compared to NCIS, with one notable exception. Like Harry's Law and most CBS shows, NCIS skews old and has lots of total viewers, but despite its older skewing NCIS is the number one broadcast drama this season with adults 18-49. Harry's Law is one of the lowest-rated dramas with adults 18-49 on all of broadcast TV and excluding other NBC shows and the CW there aren't any favorable comparisons to make.

I don't buy The Good Wife comparison.

  • Tom

    Robert, do you think ‘The Good Wife’ will be renewed for a fifth season for syndication purposes even if it continues with the bad ratings?

  • Oliver

    What about Warner moving Harry’s Law to The CW in order to broaden The CW’s audience? That might be a decent loss-leader.

  • Matt


    The good wife has already been renewed, along with many other CBS shows

  • Robert Seidman

    Though I lean towards “no” unless the ratings are much worse than this season I’ll probably have it as a toss-up most of next year.

  • Robert Seidman

    @Oliver: I’d be about as surprised if that happened as I would if NBC renewed it.

  • DW

    no there is no comparison. TGW has performed great ratings wise and has been renewed in a time slot that has had both sunday night football and the walking dead and held its own in total viewers. harry s law is a bad show in a bad time slot getting bad ratings. it has great total viewers numbers but that doesnt make it a success.

  • DenverDean

    Actually HL is more than 2 seasons away from syndication. Last season only produced 12, so after this season 34. It will need 54ish to get to 88. I doubt NBC is going to order 27 for two season. That means 2+ season. Not a chance of renewal.

  • cc

    The advertisers methods of tracking viewers is as outdated as their thinking. Everybody loses.

  • Bill Gorman

    Double down, baby! Double down!

    Having gone all in on the Harry’s Law Will Be Canceled prediction early and rightfully so, the only way to play this now is pedal to the metal.

    “TGW has performed great ratings wise”

    Don’t kid yourself. By CBS standards, TGW is terribly rated. Feel lucky the show’s been on the air as long as it has been/will be.

    “The advertisers methods of tracking viewers is as outdated as their thinking. Everybody loses.”

    Yeah, right. The reason Harry’s Law is getting canceled is because the measurement process is bad. Crazy fans never consider that were measurement improved, the ratings of their favorite show might be even worse!

  • HotLatino4GayMarriage

    @DW The GW hasn’t performed “great” ratingswise!!!

  • fringewillget5seasons

    He was asking about 13-14 season, not 12-13. That is when TGW’s fifth season would air – it was renewed for a fourth.

    TGW does not get great ratings for CBS by any stretch of the imagination. Please go look at the R/C Index to see this.

    I don’t think HL is anything similar to TGW since no acclaim, less episodes and even lower ratings in general. Only thing similar is the number of retirement homes tuning in.

  • KS

    CBS – The Good Wife
    Fox – Fringe
    NBC – Chuck
    CW – Gossip Girl

    All these shows come under the same category.

    I don’t know about Harry’s law, but it might be one of them.

  • Bill Gorman

    “All these shows come under the same category.”

    And that category is?

    Shows that crazy fans put in lists? ;)

  • The End

    From a business point of view Harry’s Law won’t come back. It doesn’t make sense economically to renew it.

  • Steve

    NBC should renew Harry’s Law and move it to Friday nights at 10pm after Grimm or to Saturday nights at 9pm. I am sure Harry will still continue to get about 8 million viewers even if it’s put on a night like Friday/Saturday.

  • karin

    TGW needs a shortened season on fridays and ciao…boring,poor acting@ CBS??

  • KS

    @Bill and Robert

    I know you trust the ratings and Nielsen system more than anything else. But I suggest you not to completely ignore the PR. You gotta give importance to PR too. And you were proved wrong twice with renewal Fringe and The Good Wife.

  • Alex

    Oh, for God’s sake, stop bashing on Kathy Bates, she’s an incredible actress, even though this show might be a failure!

  • KS


    The Good Wife, Fringe, Chuck, Gossip Girl
    I don’t watch any of the shows. I am not a crazy fan of any show.

    And the category is, List of shows, which you have put on Bubble or even one step below, and still got renewed.

  • Anonymous

    Alex’s comment claims:
    “Oh, for God’s sake, stop bashing on Kathy Bates, she’s an incredible actress, even though this show might be a failure!”

    Yeah, look at all the bashing on Kathy Bates. *CTRL+F Kathy Bates* 1 result:
    “Though Kathy Bates has an Oscar from 22 years ago, I don’t sense the Emmy buzz and critical acclaim for Harry’s Law that exists for The Good Wife, though it’s possible I missed it.”

    A ton of bashing! It’s insane how much bashing there is! There’s so much bashing on this page!

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