NBC Cancels Love Bites: Have TV Viewers Officially Broken Up with Anthology Series?

The final episode of Love Bites will air this Thursday, at 10/9c, thus completing the midseason series’ run… forever, an NBC spokesperson has told The Hollywood Reporter.

That NBC is pulling the plug on the romantic-comedy anthology series comes as almost no surprise, given the relentless crucible it endured to even make it on air, to then only muster the slightest of ratings. (Series lead Becki Newton, though, adopted an “anything can happen” attitude about renewal when we spoke to her at the time of the oft-delayed premiere.)

But I’m wondering if this confirms that anthology series as a whole — a format in which a variety of guest stars parade through a world populated by a few recurring, touchstone characters — is simply not feasible anymore.

When I was growing up you had Love, American Style (which Love Bites was occasionally likened to), Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Supertrain (groan), Hotel…. And based on reader comments I’ve seen here on TVLine, there are a bunch of you who enjoyed not knowing who’d pop up on the NBC show on a given week. Will it be Psych‘s James Roday? Good Morning, Miami cutie Ashley Williams? SNL alum Chris Parnell? That new gal from Switched at Birth, or film vet Beau Bridges? Cristian de la Fuente (In Plain Sight), Eddie McClintock (Warehouse 13) or Adam Baldwin (Chuck)?

There is always something fun — probably for the actors, too — about seeing a familiar face “moonlight” in a different role. But maybe the very premise of an anthology series denies today’s demanding viewer the continuity they need, to tune in week after week. Or maybe Love Bites simply fell short, creatively?

Do you think TV will ever provide safe harbor for another Love Boat?

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76 Comments
  1. MMJ says:

    I loved this show, too. I don’t think NBC gave it a fair shake. As other mentioned, “summer series” is usually code for burning off episodes already filmed on a series we’re not renewing. People won’t invest in a show that’s not coming back. What’s the point?

    The point here was that this was actually a good show. There was clever interplay with stories and characters. The actors were good. I would love some other network (Lifetime!!) to pick it up and continue, but I don’t think it will happen. Sad, because this really was a good show—and an alternate to procedural dramas (which I love) and reality programs (which I don’t!). Just a nice, clever rom-com, something there’s not a lot of around. :o(

  2. S says:

    I really only loved the show for Becki Newton. The other stories were great sometimes but thats the thing…it was only sometimes. It was pretty inconsistant except for the stories with Becki. She was fantastic. I hope she gets her own show one of these days.

  3. Sam S says:

    Matt Webb Mitovitch, I think it became clear as this ran through its short run of episodes that all of the behind the scenes problems (losing the creator of the show nearly immediately, Becky Newton’s pregnancy, loss of writers) affected the quality of the show. I am amazed it even made it to the air in its current format. The writing was all over the place. Some episodes were relatively well written (the last one seemed to be okay, as did the pilot when all the original participants were still on board), but some segments in the middle episodes I wanted to turn it off. I endured every segment of every episode, but the inconsistency was its death knell. Shows of this type can survive on television, but the quality has to be top notch. When the quality is all over the place, the show is DOA.

  4. D says:

    I really loved the show. It was a great change of pace from anything on. I am disappointed its cancelled.

  5. Kristi says:

    I’m just now seeing this. This makes me sad. I loved that show! I enjoyed that it was something different in the current TV climate. Strike 3 for me, NBC. First, you screw Conan. Then you cancel “Outsourced”. Now this. I might watch you once Community/30 Rock come back. But my viewership is lost for the rest of the summer.

  6. Ginger says:

    All of us must boycott NBC series. They continue to mess around with the series until no one wants to watch them anymore. What happened to the good old days of Dallas when you could set your watch every week to the show? Never again will I begin another series with the mainstream channels. NO way not after I got sucked into ‘The Event’. Loved the show but hate the network for cancelling it and stringing it along. I hope another network picks it up and it gets a dozen grammys and NBC closes its pitiful doors. Boycott the channel.

  7. CJ says:

    This sucks. I loved this show and have been telling my friends how great it was only for it to be cancelled. I really liked the format of the show and the stories were heart-warming.

  8. Jamie says:

    I really was enjoying this show. I’m sad it’s gone! NBC, I have no kind words for you.

  9. hannah says:

    I think this show was one of my favorites this summer, and I’m really sad it got canceled. Maybe if it was on a different network like Fox 40 or ABC it would have made it longer cause who watches NBC?? (no a fence)The only reason I knew about the show was because of hulu…

  10. gerry says:

    I loved this show! I loved all the actors, as well. How disappointing! The network barely gave it a chance… I hope they reconsider.

  11. Heaven says:

    I really liked this show. I am very picky hence why I have hulu and netflix not cabel. I pay less for more. I was wondering why no more shows were coming thru. They didn’t even give it a chance for a better ending :(

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