What Should We Make of ABC Yanking ‘The Assets’ Early?

What Should We Make of ABC Yanking ‘The Assets’ Early?

The Assets, Paul Rhys
THE ASSETS - "Jewel in the Crown" - The CIA scores a major break when Vitaly Yurchenko, a high-ranking KGB officer, defects to the US. Assigned as the lead in the debriefing, Aldrich Ames engages in a verbal cat-and-mouse game to determine whether he is in danger of being ratted out. Ames considers taking drastic measures when Yurchenko reveals that he knows of a mole in the CIA. Meanwhile, Sandy frets over the safety of a beloved and esteemed asset, General Dmitri Polyakov. This episode of "The Assets" airs on THURSDAY, JANUARY 9 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. "Episode TBD" (ABC/J. Adam Giese) PAUL RHYS

The Assets, Paul RhysABC Television Network

It was a big surprise when ABC made the decision to yank The Assets off the air after two episodes (Sorry, Paul Rhys).  After all, it was a mini-series … you know, something that’s supposed to have a limited viewing window, but the powers that be decided to slam that window shut. Come to think of it, it may not have been the biggest surprise in the world, after all.

The main reason why the show may not have done well is that many American people don’t view Russia as the big, bad Red Menace anymore. Gone are the days where the Cold War made the Russkis the best fodder for books and movies. Now it’s Islamic terrorists, for the most part. With communism not a part of Russian life anymore, it doesn’t carry the same kind of oomph that it did in the 1970s and ’80s, when the Presidents of the United States were regularly having uneasy talks with the Russian leaders. It all began to thaw out when Ronald Regan and Mikhail Gorbachev began collaborating and pursuing what was called glasnost – transparency for the Russian government.

So, after that whole coup attempt on Boris Yeltsin failed, communism was laid to rest and the two superpower nations have gotten along fairly well, though there are some possible glitches with the upcoming Winter Olympics due to possible human right issues with anti-gay laws there. But the vitriol of the years past just isn’t there. As the years go past, people who lived through those times might as well be like those who grew up in McCarthy’s Red Scare times – relics of a time gone by.

Sure, what Ames did was terrible, but we’ve also seen and read many things about him and it didn’t really feel necessary to re-tell this story. That is probably why people didn’t turn to this mini-series. It’s like the reboot of a recent movie. There’s nothing new that’s been told. Plus, if we want to see things like that, we’ll watch The Americans. Keri Russell is a lot better to look at than someone playing Ames.