Maybe I’m the last viewer out there still watching, and still really digging, ‘Persons Unknown’. It sure feels that way sometimes. If there are any other fans out there, you probably noticed that NBC ran sports programming in its timeslot this past Saturday. The good news is that the show will return with a new episode this coming Saturday. (At least, that’s currently the plan.) The bad news is that NBC has pulled one of the following episodes and won’t air it at all. Gee, it sure is a good thing that this isn’t a serial narrative that relies heavily on continuity from one episode to the next to make sense of the story. Oh, wait….
‘Persons Unknown’ was designed from the start as a limited run, 13-episode miniseries. So far, nine episodes have aired. Each is integral to building the story arc. Nevertheless, NBC has decided to cut the run short, and has yanked Episode 11 from the schedule, so as to bump the 2-hour finale up a week and get the series off its programming grid early. The missing episode, called ‘Seven Sacrifices’, will be posted online only.
To be clear, this weekend’s upcoming episode (‘Identity’) is the show’s tenth, and follows directly from where we left off last without a gap. It’s the episode that’s supposed to follow that which NBC has pulled. The series will jump straight from ‘Identity’ to the finale.
I understand that the show hasn’t done particularly well in the ratings. But this is the summer, and the series is scheduled for the dead zone of Saturday nights on the 4th place network. Does NBC really have anything better to put there that’s worth upsetting the dedicated fans who’ve stuck with the show so far? I seriously doubt it.
You know what NBC has scheduled to run after this Saturday’s episode? A repeat of ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’. How about NBC double-up on ‘Persons Unkown’ this week and put the ‘Seven Sacrifices’ episode in that slot? Would that be so hard?