NBC banishes 'Kings'; ABC pulls 'Samantha,' 'Motherhood'

Ianmcshane_kings_240 NBC had already exiled "Kings" to Saturday nights, and now the show has been dethroned until the summer.

The critically acclaimed but little-watched show has been taken off the Saturday schedule effective this week. Reruns of "Law & Order: SVU" will fill the 8 p.m. Saturday spot for the next few weeks.

ABC has also pulled its comedies "Samantha Who?" and "In the Motherhood" a week earlier than expected.

The show, a modern-day retelling of the biblical story of David that stars Christopher Egan and Ian McShane, will at least get a chance to play out its final episodes, but that won't happen until well after the TV season ends. It will return to the schedule on Saturday, June 13 and air its final episode in late July.

Despite mostly positive reviews, "Kings" struggled in its initial Sunday-night timeslot, averaging only about 5 million viewers over four episodes. That number predictably dropped when the show moved to the dead zone of Saturdays; last week's episode brought in only 2.4 million viewers.

ABC's decision to yank "Samantha Who?" and "In the Motherhood" from Thursday's lineup caps  rough week for the two comedies. On Monday, the network announced that "Ugly Betty" would return April 30, a week earlier than previously scheduled. Now it's decided to air a "Grey's Anatomy" rerun at 8 p.m. Thursday.

There's no word yet on when the comedies will be back on the schedule.

Related:

'Ugly Betty' returns to ABC one week early
This season's canceled shows