Updated Monday, May 18, 12:34 p.m.
“Weird Loners,” a new Fox comedy set in Queens, has been reportedly canceled after just six episodes following low ratings.
The sitcom, starring Becki Newton, Zachary Knighton, Meera Rohit Kumbhani and Nate Torrence, debuted to 1.8 million viewers and an 0.8 in the 18 to 49 age demographic, “making it the season’s lowest rated show on a major broadcast network,” according to Entertainment Weekly.
The show focused on four relationship-challenged 30-somethings who unexpectedly end up in each other’s lives and start bonding while living next door to each other in Queens.
After setting “The King of Queens,” which ran on CBS from 1998 to 2007, in Rego Park, Weithorn decided to use Ridgewood as inspiration for the backdrop of “Weird Loners.”
Weithorn, in an email to The Courier, said he was disappointed by the cancellation, but believed its success would have been helped by a “promotional effort on the network’s part.”
“It’s very hard to launch a new show if it has no stars, no high concept to sell,” he said. “Character and dialogue-driven comedies like this one take a while to find and build an audience, and that only happens when the network is willing to commit to the show for at least a full season and spend money on its promotion. Six episodes, late in the season, with very light promotion — we never had a chance.”
Weithorn added that he was “thrilled” the show did make it to six episodes, and in this day, people will be able to find the show on streaming services.
As far as setting any future shows in Queens, Weithorn doesn’t have any current plans, but didn’t rule out the possibility in the future.
“There’s probably a good chance that I will if the show lends itself to that kind of setting, but I have no specific ideas at the moment.”
In creating “Weird Loners,” Weithorn had the set designer research the old buildings of Ridgewood for the Los Angeles-shot show, and a Polish delicatessen he visited in the area as a child helped him come up with the background of the two main male characters, who are children of Polish immigrants.
According to Weithorn, though the setting is based on Ridgewood, the show’s initial episodes did not mention the neighborhood directly. There were future plans, however, to more directly feature the neighborhood had the show continued.
To mark the show’s March 31 premiere and second episode the following week, a group of Ridgewood locals got together at a neighborhood bar, Queens Tavern.
Steven Lewis, co-owner of the bar, and Sarah Feldman from Ridgewood Social, who both had the idea to hold a screening party, were joined by about two dozen other people to cheer and jeer at the new sitcom.
Reactions were mixed during the debut episode, as some booed at the large living room of Becki Newton’s character Caryn, called the comedy “corny,” and questioned its portrayal of Ridgewood.
Others had positive reactions and one viewer even said it “had potential” and a “‘New Girl’ vibe.”
“New Girl,” unlike “Weird Loners,” will be on the Fox schedule this fall. Another canceled comedy on the network, “The Mindy Project,” which had previously been in the “Weird Loners” 9:30 p.m. Tuesday time slot behind “New Girl,” is set to be revived on Hulu. “Weird Loners,” however, appears to be a short-lived series.
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