TV Fact #353 – October 11th, 2015:

The American television police drama “Nash Bridges” (1996-2001) employed several hundred local workers including production crews and staff members, carpenters, electricians, set designers, grips, set dressers, props, scenic artists, location managers, costumers, drivers, cameramen, special effects, soundmen, makeup and hair stylists and production assistants. This contributed to episode production being nearly $2 million per episode.

This partially led to the show’s cancellation in it’s sixth season, even though it was obtaining fair ratings from Nielsen. However, following its Friday night ratings battle, which it was losing to NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (1999-Present), the show was indeed canceled. Paramount Network Television, which was producing the show, felt that its $2 million per episode production cost was just too much and while CBS was hoping to get a seventh season out of “Nash Bridges”, that failed because Paramount wasn’t willing to pay. This was certain even though at the time, Viacom had owned both CBS and Paramount. The final factor that led to the ending of the series was that lead actor Don Johnson, who played the lead character Inspector/Captain Nash Bridges, wanted out. Johnson was getting tired in the role while CBS and Paramount had enough episodes to put the series into syndication.

I guess the lesson here is to quit while you’re ahead as the show was popular enough to run for syndication for years to come without spending another dime and making money from reruns. From a business aspect, and possibly a creative aspect due to prolonging a show that could have been losing creative energy, this was the right move.

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Published in: on October 17, 2015 at 10:30 PM  Leave a Comment  

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