Twice is not the charm for J.J. Abrams, as the Alias creator's recent return to the spy genre in Undercovers is already over.
NBC has pulled the plug on the espionage drama, opting not to pick the show up for the first season's back nine episodes. Undercovers, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Boris Kodjoe as a married pair of former spies that find themselves sucked back into the world of high stakes action and adventure, marks the second NBC series to get canceled this season following Outlaws.
It's also the first time that an Abrams-created series has received a cancellation order at such an early stage in the show's development. Other shows from the Star Trek director include Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe. His production company Bad Robot has three new television projects in development: an Alcatraz series at Fox, Person of Interest at CBS and the tentatively titled Odd Jobs on NBC starring Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson.
An unnamed Undercovers insider spoke with Deadline about the reasons behind the show's cancellation, saying:
"Many things. Mostly, what was meant to be a throwback lark of a show felt trivial to people. It felt flimsy and not compelling, partially because it was designed as a stand alone, non serialized show. Perhaps the stories lacked deeper interest and urgency. We tried to embrace a familiarity of form, but the public obviously didn't want something so familiar. Unfortunately we never got an audience from the get-go; our abysmal recent rating wasn't even one point lower than our premiere number. We just should have done better. It is a bummer to be sure. NBC did the best they know how. We feel responsible for the failure, though. But damn, it sure would be easier to blame the network!"
The fate of the remaining produced episodes of Undercovers is currently unknown.