Show Coming Up On Its Last Rites

FRIDAY, OCT. 10, 1997

The most challenging new drama of the season, filled with fine performances and the kind of provocative thought so rare on network TV it’s actually a bit jolting, might not make it to Christmas.

Sadly and frustratingly for anyone concerned about quality television, “Nothing Sacred” is dying - slowly, steadily, insensibly.

That it airs too early (8 p.m.) and on a competitive night (Thursday) is the least of the problems for a series having difficulty cracking Nielsen’s Top 100.

This week, the 18th corporation pulled out as an advertiser.

More are likely to follow.

ABC is holding firm, promising to stay with its beleaguered drama for the long haul.

But that’s strong talk for a weak network.

Ratings-starved and vulnerable, ABC can’t possibly afford to take financial and moral hits for a show that has ticked off the traditionalist Catholic League and other religious gatekeepers for its portrayal of an independent-thinking Catholic priest.


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