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Execs Exhibit Little Patience Amid Flat-Lining Ratings

Apparently patience is relative.

Network executives have preached patience with new series since digital fragmentation has turned the competition for eyeballs into a death-match and delayed viewing makes reading ratings reports a retina-burning exercise. But here we are two weeks into the new season and already two expensive new series have been yanked: Fox’s Lone Star and ABC’s My Generation.

And there are multiple more shows on death watch: ABC’s The Whole Truth, NBC’s Outlaw. Even J.J. Abrams may not be bullet-proof as the uber-creator’s NBC drama Undercovers slipped to a 1.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic for its second outing. 

This week - the third of the season - will most likely produce another reckoning. The Whole Truth, ABC’s Maura Tierney/Rob Morrow legal drama, has been unable to muster a pulse amid tough competition in the 10 p.m. hour on Wednesdays opposite CBS’ The Defenders and NBC’s Law & Order: Los Angeles. Last week, The Whole Truth was down nearly 15% from its series premiere to a 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demo. Meanwhile, NBC’s Outlaw, the dreadful Jimmy Smits vehicle produced by NBC’s Universal Media Studios, posted a 1.0 rating last Friday.

And those are not numbers that inspire patience.