Playboy Club, Charlie's Angels, Free Agents

John Russo/NBC; ABC/BOB D'AMICO; Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Three strikes and out?

Actually, in the past couple of TV seasons, the first cancellation victims each only got two chances. (RIP, Lone Stone and The Beautiful Life.) 

If history holds, time may be running out for the following new shows:

Free Agents 

Why It Could Go First: It was the least-watched, lowest-rated freshman show on the Big Four networks last week, with its audience falling to about 3 million viewers.

Why It Might Stick Around: It's paired with a show, Up All Night, that's doing better, and that has some juice. Maybe NBC won't be in rush to break up the Wednesday comedy team? Also, for what it's worth, it's already three episodes old, so it's survived the Lone Star-Beautiful Life danger zone.

A Gifted Man

Why It Could Go First: Even for a Friday-night show, it's doing next to nothing demographically.

Why It Might Stick Around: Overall, last week's episode managed to pull in some 8 million.

Why It Still Could Go First: Audiences of about 8 million don't necessarily cut it on CBS. (Let this be a warning to you, How to Be a Gentleman.)

The Playboy Club 

Why It Could Go First: It's a Nielsen straggler (4 million viewers for last week's episode); it's not competitive against Castle or Hawaii Five-O; it doesn't seem married to its lead-in, The Sing Off, the way Free Agents seems married to Up All Night

 Why It Might Stick Around: Well, for one thing, it's on tonight (lucky episode number three!).

Charlie's Angels

Why It Could Go First: Really bad second outing. Couldn't keep up demographically with The Big Bang Theory and The X Factor, much less Community and Parks & Recreation

Why It Might Stick Around: For a low-rated show, its overall audience was pretty big—about 7 million (old-ish) viewers. If ABC decides Angels is its Harry's Law with plunging necklines, then maybe it'll be allowed to putter along.

Prime Suspect

Why It Could Go First: Last week, its rating among 18-to-49-year-olds was right down there with Charlie's Angels'. (Its premiere week wasn't much better.)

Why It Might Stick Around: Its competition, Private Practice and The Mentalist, isn't all that hot. If anything, this seems the least likely Nielsen-challenged new show to get the quick hook. 

The CW Division 

In this case, it's much easier to separate the winner from all the other shows that aren't doing much of anything. In other words, bet on The Secret Circle; pass on everything else (probably most of all H8R.)

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