Mar 8, 2015
Tradecraft: NBC Pulls Allegiance
Apparently NBC has no allegiance to its new spy drama Allegiance. Try as they might, for some reason the networks just can't seem to duplicate the success of FX's excellent hit Cold War spy series The Americans. Last year ABC attempted it with their own Eighties-set miniseries about a KGB mole in the CIA, The Assets. That turned out to be quite a good show, but nobody saw it, and ABC pulled it from the schedule after just two airings. (Fortunately, it can now be streamed in its entirety on Netflix.) Allegiance, another midseason launch, made it for all of three episodes before being pulled. After three under-performing airings, with this week's episode hitting a low 0.8, Deadline reports that the network "is yanking Allegiance from the schedule effective immediately." According to the trade, "It is not an official cancellation but is as close as you can get to one without announcing it." There are currently no plans for the eight unaired episodes. That's too bad, because I actually enjoyed the soapy family spy drama from The Bourne Ultimatum co-writer George Nolfi. Despite its obvious debt to The Americans, Allegiance stood on its own. Its contemporary setting was made all the more relevant thanks to an FBI sting against Russian SVR agents operating in New York just days before the premiere. And the frothy tone set it apart from FX's gritty period drama. I hope those remaining episodes are made available at some point, whether NBC burns them off two at a time on Summer Sunday afternoons like ABC tried (at first) with The Assets, or puts them up On Demand, or just releases them streaming on Netflix down the line (as eventually happened with The Assets). Sadly a DVD set is probably too much to hope for, even though NBC's lesser freshman spy show, State of Affairs (also likely on the chopping block), just got an MOD release.