Low ratings tubed
'Wonderland,' not protests
Critics were of praiseful of psych ward saga
ABC has decided it would be nuts to keep
'Wonderland" on its schedule after its first two outings produced
some depressing viewership numbers.
psychiatric hospital drama has gotten the boot.
The critically lauded show has been pulled from
the Thursday night lineup and put on hold indefinitely.
Replacing it will be newsmagazines, starting with
the Peter Jennings-hosted "Vanished," followed next week by
A spokeswoman for the network says
"Wonderland" has not been cancelled but that there are no plans
as of yet to put it back on the air.
Even if the show has not returned to the lineup by the
time the network announces its fall schedule on May 17, there is still a
chance the remaining episodes of "Wonderland" will make it onto
the air this summer, says the spokeswoman.
Only two of the eight episodes the network ordered have
The network says the decision to pull the show had
nothing to do with an attempt by the National Alliance for the Mentally
Ill (NAMI) to organize an advertiser boycott.
NAMI had protested the "sensational
and one-dimensional" depiction of mental patients on
"Wonderland," and the show also prompted protests from mental
In a press release on its web site, NAMI
suggested that it had already pressured one advertiser, AstraZeneca
Pharaceuticals, maker of the antidepressant Prilosec, into withdrawing its
However, according to the ABC spokeswoman, the
company had only contracted to advertise during the first episode; as such
it didn’t back out of a commitment but merely declined to renew its
"‘Wonderland’ had a full
complement of advertisers," says the spokeswoman, who insists that
the decision to take it off the air was "completely due to
In its first appearance, "Wonderland"
went up against a rerun of "ER," NBC’s top-ranked medical
drama. "Wonderland" performed respectably, pulling 13 million
viewers, but the "ER" repeat edged it out with 14 million.
When broadcast opposite a new episode of
"ER," the ABC drama’s viewership tumbled to 7.5 million.
-Jeff Bercovici is a staff writer for
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