The idea of a pirate drama is something that should be appetizing for many networks, given that we've seen tangible proof courtesy of the box office that swashbuckling tales can be very profitable.
However, for some reason it has not transferred over well to network television. CBS failed years ago with their attempt to make a pirate-themed reality show in "Pirate Master," and now NBC has effectively sent "Crossbones" down the plank. Despite having a top-level lead in John Malkovich and some beautiful scenery, the show never managed to create the right balance of action and drama that it needed. The fact that only around 25% of the audience in the 18-49 demographic stuck with the series from start to finish is further proof of that.
For the two-hour finale airing on Saturday night, the show averaged just a 2.5 in the 18-49 demographic, and this is with some possible preemptions thanks to baseball that could be inflating the number slightly. This put NBC in last place for the night, as the show fared worse than repeats of other popular series included "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." on the night.
Will the failures of this show cause there to be less opportunities for pirate programs on TV? It's possible, given that there are certain genres that have typically shown to work better on the big screen, where you can really create the sort of believable environment you need. Westerns are right up there, as well, even if there is a notable exception right now in "Hell on Wheels" airing over on AMC. We do not imagine, however, that this will keep Malkovich from landed future TV roles. He was the shining light of the series critically, and delivered a consistent performance as Blackbeard. The only issue may have been that this is not the version of Blackbeard many were expecting upon entering the series.
Did you stick with "Crossbones," and what did you think of the finale? Be sure to share in the comments below.