By Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/29/2000 7:00:00 PM
Tucker, NBC's " Malcolm-ish in the Middle of a Wonder Years remake" of a sitcom, was aptly named after the 1940s car that, though a valiant effort, was crushed by the competition. Tucker, the TV show, may not have yet been running on all cylinders, but at least from here it seemed a bit early to relegate it to the junk heap. Either way, after only four episodes, NBC yanked the show because it failed to engage enough viewers quickly enough to keep the network out of the cellar on Monday nights. NBC's ratings and scheduling troubles have been well documented, but nothing speaks to the problem as eloquently as the decision to ax the new show. Building an audience is not an option these days. If a show doesn't hit the ground running, it becomes an immediate target. That may work as a short-term economic theory (cut your losses), but we're not sure it's a healthy long-term programming strategy. Some shows have to grow on an audience. Perhaps Tucker never would have, but we'll never know. Rome wasn't built in a day, but apparently TV now has to be.
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