5 TV Shows on Death Watch

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - The Playboy Club has become the first series to get the axe this season.

This shouldn't come as a surprise, as NBC's drama had been losing viewers at an alarming rate. The series premiered to just 5 million viewers and then fell another 19% to 3.8 million in its second week, earning a 1.3 rating.

The Playboy Club was also a target of the Parents Television Council, which had been calling for an advertising boycott.

This makes Comcast's ( CMCSA) NBC the first network to pull the plug on a new series. The network has been in fourth place so far this fall, a spot it has held for the past six seasons. And it doesn't look like The Playboy Club is the only new show from NBC on death row, with at least three other series at risk of being cancelled.

But at the very least, NBC has an ace up its sleeve with the mid-season premiere of Smash, the musical drama starring American Idol alum Katharine McPhee and Debra Messing.

Typically, networks are hesitant to pull shows this early in the season, as it sets bad precedent and often results in more mediocre material that doesn't boost ratings. But now that NBC has made the first move, the gate is open for other networks to join.

Here's a look at the other television shows whose performance thus far has them at risk of being cancelled.

H8R

H8R is getting, well, a lot of hate.

While The CW's new reality show saw a slight uptick in ratings last week after its first two episodes languished in the doldrums, the series has been reviled by critics.

With Mario Lopez as the host, the show pins celebrities against their biggest haters -- regular people who have a distaste for what they see on TV or read in the press. The two go face-to-face in the hope that the celebrity is able to convince the hater to change their negative view.

So far, Jersey Shore's Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Kim Kardashian and Eva Longoria have gone up against their haters.

H8R has remained fifth in its 8 p.m. timeslot, beaten out by other reality shows and reruns. This wouldn't necessarily be a red flag for a show on The CW, but given the harsh reviews of the show, it looks like Mario Lopez will soon be looking for another gig.

Free Agents

Free Agents is also on life support, drawing just 3.1 million viewers and pulling a 1.0 rating in the 18 through 49-year-old demographic.

The Hank Azaria comedy declined 19% from its premiere of 3.87 million viewers.

Free Agents is a remake of the British comedy of the same name, staring Azaria as Alex, a newly divorced PR agent who sleeps with his colleague Helen (Kathryn Hahn). Helen has her own baggage, trying to get over the death of her fiancé, whose pictures litter her apartment. The two try to keep their affair secret from their off-the-wall colleagues, which is where the comedy is supposed to come in, but thus far, has fallen short.

Charlie's Angels

Charlie's Angels lost a huge chunk of its audience from its premiere, plunging 29% to 7.1 million viewers, and drawing a weak 1.5 rating for ABC.

The remake of the 1970's hit entered fall premiere week with a highly recognizable name, made famous by Farrah Fawcett. The new version attempts to bring back this blast from the past, while modernizing the Angels' style.

The remake, which stars Rachael Taylor, Minka Kelly and Annie Ilonzeh, tries to distance itself from the original, moving production from Los Angeles to Miami and attempts to be a truer action series. Charlie's Angels is geared toward a male audience, yet viewership is dominated by females under 49.

Charlie's Angels came in fourth place in the 8 p.m. hour, losing out to names like The Vampire Diaries with viewers under 35.

A Gifted Man

The prognosis doesn't look good for A Gifted Man.

The second episode of the CBS drama saw 14% drop off in ratings, averaging just 8.2 million viewers in its Friday timeslot. This puts it in third behind Univision's telenovela Theresa and Fox's Kitchen Nightmare.

The show centers around Patrick Wilson, who plays an arrogant, less than moral, surgeon, who following a near-death experience, begins to have visions of his dead ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle). His ex-wife guides Wilson's character to become a better person and doctor.

In fairness, Friday is a rough night to crack, with many shows being put in the TGIF timeslot before their inevitable cancellation.

Last year, CBS cancelled two shows in the Friday 8 p.m. timeslot, Medium and CHAOS, and A Gifted Man has already fallen below Medium's average viewership.

Prime Suspect

Prime Suspect lost 17% of its viewership, with just 5.5 million and a 1.5 rating.

The series is a remake of the U.K. crime drama of the same name and stars Maria Bello as a New York detective.

But despite low ratings at home, the series is gaining traction in international markets. Distributor ITV Studios Global Entertainment said that the show has been sold to more than 30 countries.

The original U.K. version starred Helen Mirren, a role which won her the BAFTA best TV actress laurel for three consecutive years.

How to Be a Gentleman

CBS ( CBS) may be topping the charts with its comedies like Two and a Half Men, Two Broke Girls and The Big Bang Theory, but it certainly can't be pleased with How to Be a Gentleman.

The series, which stars David Hornsby and Kevin Dillon, drew 9 million viewers for a 2.7 rating. This is 33% less than the premiere of the shortly-lived comedy, $#*! My Dad Says last season.

Created by Hornsby, the show centers on Andrew who is an etiquette columnist for a men's magazine. Andrew's column is at risk of being replaced by something edgier and sexier, until he runs into Bert, a guy who use to bully him in high school. Andrew hires Bert as a life coach to teach him how to be a man.

Following its first episode, How to Be a Gentleman has received lackluster reviews, questioning the humor in Hornsby's supposed comedy.

Whitney

Whitney attracted a respectable 6.7 million viewers in its premiere, bit viewership dropped about 24% in its second week to 5.3 million.

The half-hour sitcom, created, co-produced and starring stand-up comedian Whitney Cummings, explores the relationship of a long-time couple who have decided not to get married. The comedy arises as Whitney tries to keep the spark alive with her boyfriend (played by Cummings real-life friend Chris D'Elia).

But critics have called Whitney "witless," "unfunny" and "terribly conceived."

Cummings, who got her start on MTV's Punk'd, also co-created CBS' new sitcom Two Broke Girls, which has been touted as one of the more successful new series in the sitcom genre this season.

- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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