The world might not be ready for a sitcom about the coronavirus pandemic. NBC pulled its new sitcom Connecting from its schedule and will release the final four episodes on the Peacock streaming platform and NBC.com, which likely means the show will be canceled in the future. The unique series was about a group of friends trying to stay sane during the pandemic lockdown by communicating through video conferencing.
NBC plans to air episodes of the long-running sitcom Superstore in place of Connecting, beginning this week through Thursday, Nov. 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET, reports Variety. The network ordered Connecting to series in June and the first episode aired on Oct. 8. It never earned a big audience, only averaging a 0.4 18-49 rating and 2.1 million viewers per episode in Nielsen Live+7 ratings.
Martin Gero and Brendan Gall, who both worked on NBC's Blindspot, created Connecting. The ensemble cast included Otmara Marrero, Parvesh Cheena, Keith Powell, Jill Knox, Shakina Nayfack, Ely Henry, Preacher Lawson, and Cassie Beck. Universal Television produced it.
This is not the first time NBC has pulled a show from its schedule and dumped the remaining episodes on a streaming platform. Last season, NBC pulled Sunnyside, a series starring Kal Penn as a former New York City Councilman, after just four episodes aired. The remaining seven episodes were released on the NBC app and NBC.com. In June, NBC officially canceled the show, alongside another short-lived comedy, Indebted.
Connecting's failure to connect with audiences might inspire Hollywood to take a second look at other coronavirus themed projects in the works. In April, Netflix ordered an anthology series called Social Distance from Orange Is The New Black producer Jenji Kohan. The producers were "inspired to create an anthology series that tells stories about the current moment we are living through — the unique, personal, deeply human stories that illustrate how we are living apart, together," they said in a statement at the time. "We are challenging ourselves to do something new: To create and produce virtually so that our cast and crew can stay healthy and safe." The series was released in October.
In August, Disney's Freeform aired a four-part miniseries called Love in the Time of Corona, which followed a group of people looking for love during the pandemic while social distancing. The series was filmed virtually and received mixed reviews from critics. The cast included Leslie Odom Jr., Rainey Qualley, Nicolette Robinson, Tommy Dorfman, Gil Bellows, and L. Scott Caldwell.