'Mockingbird Lane:' Does It Have a Pulse Now? (Poll)

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

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October 27th, 2012

NBC decided to pass on Mockingbird Lane after seeing the pilot, but having spent so much money on the pilot, decided to air it anyway. The premise being that by airing it they at least recover some of the millions they spent on the pilot. HitFix's Alan Sepinwall refers to the airings of passed-on pilots as "Busted Pilot Theater" which used to happen more frequently.

Regardless of anyone trying to spin it as a test run, the reasonable conclusion is it was "Busted Pilot Theater" and nothing more. But the preliminary 1.5 adults 18-49 rating for Mockingbird Lane outperformed originals of Blue Bloods and CSI: NY as well as the premiere of Kitchen Nightmares (which it aired directly against) and served as a decent lead-in to Grimm (which was up 27% from last week.).

For me, the reasonable conclusion still is "Busted Pilot Theater" and that its performance last night doesn't mean NBC will be scrambling to figure out how to start the series back up. But if nothing else this will add a log on the fire of "look, people want something different see 'The Walking Dead,' 'American Horror Story' and 'Grimm!'"

  • tony

    I watched it for 10 minutes and just thought it was just a little to dark for me. However looking at its ratings. I think NBC will pick it up for a season. If it keeps up the ratings, then even longer.

  • Buddy

    If I was NBC, I would buy 6 episodes for Spring and advertise it as a mini-series so as to avoid any embarrassment if it tanks. The show could then even compete at the Emmys in the Movie/Mini-series categories like American Horror Story and other “first season” mini-series such as Battlestar Galactica, The 4400, etc. I predict it would naturally earn nods for tech awards: make-up, effects. Maybe even a directing nod. That could turn a potential flop into a show with some traction and little risk.

  • Tom

    No, considering what nostalgia did for reboots like Bionic Woman and V, 1.5 isn’t anything to wake the dead.

  • Melanie

    Loved Eddie Izzard & jerry O’Connel. Sets were very pretty and the special effects were decent. It did go very well with Grimm. I liked it, but I don’t see where it was going to go as an hour long drama every week.

  • Riff Rafferty

    Garbage, next. Seriously, the entire joke of “The Munsters” was that Marilyn was the “ugly” one. How does that even work when nearly the entire cast is TV-beautiful and the actress they cast to play Marilyn isn’t even anything to look at? WHO cast this thing? Not pursuing Brad Garrett was criminal. And Ed Asner should have played Grandpa. He’s a communist, so he’s perfect for NBC.

    And they eat people? Ick, no. Just no. But can somebody keep the entire below-the-line crew intact and find them a better show from a better writer? THEY have talent.

  • DryedMangoez

    For such short notice, those numbers are good. I’d love for NBC to pick it up, but I fear the cost of the show might not match the eventual ratings it could get.

    It certainly wouldn’t justify only a Friday slot, even though it’d be a great pair with Grimm. The show would have to be in a marquee timeslot for the network. I mean, the pilot looked incredibly expensive and the visuals were definitely one of the strongest parts of the hour.

  • Craig

    Honestly the TV pilots this year (and series~) have been dire from average sitcoms, average dramas etc, this one showed real promise and offered something different. NBC would be stupid to let this go. Give it a 13 episode and a better time slot and they will see results

  • Jared

    There’s no denying the fact that a Mockingbird Lane/Grimm pairing on Fridays could do very well. Look what happened to Grimm it rose in the demo 27% because it had a strong lead in and both series seem to share an audience. That being said..although I personally loved Mockingbird Lane..I just can’t see NBC ordering an extremely expensive series to only air it on a Friday.

  • iggy

    I bailed during the intro.

  • Jon23812

    I picked “Maybe”, but it’s closer towards “Yes”. A 1.5 is good for NBC, but if it goes down a little bit, three-tenths, NBC would cancel it if it was a real show.

  • Suzie

    I tuned in not expecting much but I like to give new shows a chance to win me over, and I loved it! It was charming and darkly humorous and visually stunning (all things I’ve come to associate with Bryan fuller). I was incredibly disappointed to learn that last nights pilot is likely to be the only episode aired. It’s sad and disconcerting to think that there’s no place for such a refreshing and delightfully off beat show on NBC. Mockingbird Lane had exactly the type of wit and whimsy i’d hoped to see from once upon a time and Grimm, both of which fail (for me) to capture the fantastical quality of storytelling that make fairytales so much fun. I’d really like to see more of this show!

  • Debsafan

    I didn’t like Mockingbird Lane. It wasn’t funny, wasn’t scary, and wasn’t very good. The only thing good about it was the special effects. They say they got rid of Terra Nova because it cost to much to make but at least it was worth watching. I love Grimm and hope the ML doesn’t hurt Grimm’s ratings.

  • r0ckmypants

    @Tyson – It absolutely could have had a better timeslot: Monday or Tuesday at 10:00 after The Voice, or even on Halloween night itself.

  • bsp

    Surprised at all the optimism over this program. NBC aired this purely as burn-off filler. If this was the launch of a new series, and it debuted with a 1.5, how many of you would be writing “Mockingbird Lane DOA”? Well, let me say it: Bye bye birdie!

  • Peter

    It would serve as a great lead in to Grimm, which did see a 27% increase last night. This should be a no brainer for NBC, order a slate of episodes for April/May sweeps!

  • Oliver


    Mockingbird Lane couldn’t have had a better time slot. The Friday before Halloween, partnered with Grimm

    You’re kidding, right? There’s a reason 8pm Friday is a wasteland for original scripted programming.

    If NBC ordered six more episodes–and if the episodes could be produced for $2 million apiece–the seven-episode average would still be more than $3 million.

    The money spent on the pilot is a sunk cost. It’s already been spent regardless of whether the show goes to series or not.

  • Oliver


    If this was the launch of a new series, and it debuted with a 1.5, how many of you would be writing “Mockingbird Lane DOA”?

    Mockingbird Lane didn’t get the level of promotion a real premiere would get and 1.5 isn’t that bad for Fridays these days.

    I mean, Guys With Kids’ timeslot premiere was 1.6 on Wednesday and people didn’t call it DOA.

    I don’t think NBC will order it to series, but it’s not a bad rating in the circumstances.

  • Josh

    Watched the show and didn’t find it dark at all. Was a very good pairing with Grimm. I really think they should pick it up would be a smart move for NBC.

  • joel

    NBC was on the fence with Seinfeld, which only had a pilot and then a four episode pickup. Look how that turned out.

  • Greg

    Grimm and THE MUNSTERS (yes, name it THE MUNSTERS…not stupid MOCKINGBIRD LANE!!!) would be an ideal pair on Friday nights.

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