Amaury Nolesco may be out of a job, but that might be a good thing: "Working It," the widely panned cross-dressing sitcom, has been pulled from ABC's schedule after two showings. The time-slot will be filled by repeats of "Last Man Standing," featuring Hector Elizondo, for the rest of January 2012, and then ďă˘ at long last ďă˘ by new episodes of "Cougar Town," featuring Ian Gomez, for the balance of the 2011-2012 season. (That's not going to be official 'til Tuesday, but fingers are crossed.)
Kind of ironic: A show with a Latino actor in a leading role is replaced temporarily by a show with a Latino in a leading role, to be replaced by a show with a Latino in a leading role. Net-net-net.
Meanwhile, the highly promoted sitcom "?ÝRob!" (pictured) premiered on CBS in the coveted 8:30 Thursday spot, behind megahit "Big Bang Theory." Professional critics have generally panned the show ďă˘ about 3 to 1 negative reviews, according to metacritic.com ďă˘ while the audience response and reviews from the Latino community have been more mixed.
But without a strong critical push, it's all about the numbers ďă˘ and so far, so good. "?ÝRob!" premiered with the best post-"Big Bang" numbers of the season ďă˘ in fact, the best numbers in that time period since last May. This, in turn, helped both "Person of Interest" and "The Mentalist" deliver much-welcome increases in viewers as well, and allowed CBS to win the night, ratings-wise.
Next week's numbers will tell the tale; the all-important "+7+" numbers from DVR users (always a major "Big Bang" component) will be published, and the second-episode drop-off will arrive as well. It's not unusual for new shows to see a significant decrease after first-round 'sampling,' and how many of those 14 million viewers will return (or stick around) for a second episode is an open question.
And Hector Elizondo has something to celebrate: ABC has ordered even more scripts for "Last Man Standing," where he co-stars with Tim Allen. The sitcom hasn't been the ratings bonanza that the net had hoped for, but it's a solid "B" player, and especially after the disasters of "Man Up!" and "Working It," ABC is apparently content to go with what it's got left (or in the can) as far as sitcoms go. And what the heck, Kim Kardashian is going to be on the "sweeps week" episode. How can you go wrong with "that"?
More next week, as the midseason-to-sweeps dance really gets underway.