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‘Powerless’ Pulled From NBC Schedule as DC Comedy Nears Cancellation

Variety logo Variety 4/25/2017 Elizabeth Wagmeister
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It’s the end of the road for “Powerless” — well, almost the end of the road.

NBC has pulled the DC Entertainment comedy from the network’s schedule and has not yet determined where or when the final three episodes of the season will air, Variety has confirmed. While NBC is not deeming the series officially cancelled, the writing is on the wall.

“Superstore,” which has already been renewed for the 2017-2018 season, will take over the Thursday night 8:30 p.m. timeslot where “Powerless” has been airing this year. Repeats of the America Ferrera sitcom will air immediately before the new episodes at 8 p.m.

“Powerless” being yanked off air comes as network executives are determining which of their bubble shows will be cancelled or renewed for the next TV season. So far, NBC has only renewed freshman series “The Good Place” and breakout hit “This Is Us” for additional seasons.

Starring Vanessa Hudgens, “Powerless” was the first live-action comedy for DC. The workplace comedy also stars Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi, and Christina Kirk. Ben Queen created the series, but departed before the show went into production. Patrick Schumacker and Justin Halpern took over as showrunners.

On Tuesday morning, Schumacker tweeted about the NBC schedule change, suggesting the show has been cancelled. “Thanks for watching,” he posted.

Long before the development overhaul, “Powerless” seemed promising: between Hudgens’ star power and the excitement surrounding DC’s first-ever comedy, the show became the first new series to be greenlit for the 2016-2017 season, along with John Lithgow’s comedy “Trial & Error,” which is also on the bubble.

Despite generally mixed reviews, in her reviewVariety critic Sonia Soraiya praised the “Powerless” cast, writing, “Hudgens plays the foil to a talented comedic cast — Tudyk is the standout, but Pudi and Funches are not slouches — and pulls it off with aplomb; for an actress who has never lead a television show, much less a comedy, she’s adjusting well to sitcom rhythms.” While she noted that the show underwent numerous changes through its development, our critic enjoyed the “light, nimble humor” of the DC comedy’s pilot.

But the series never seemed to find its legs ratings-wise. It started off decently with a 1.1 rating and 3.1 million viewers when it launched in February, but it was mostly downhill from there. The last episode managed just a 0.6 and 2 million viewers.

Joe Otterson contributed to this report.

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