October 18 was a day in CBS’s history where they premiered (at least) two shows that quickly flopped with the audience and was cancelled after three or less episodes. The one was VIVA LAUGHLIN in 2007, the other is this little forgotten gem of 90s television history. Starring D.W. Moffett and Marcy Walker, PALACE GUARD dealt with a guy who was just freshly released from prison and took a job with the Palace Hotel chain security section. As it turns out, the guy is actually a secret heir of the hotel chain’s owner, so melodrama was definitely ensued.
The two-hour pilot episode was not much for the American audience though. Premiering with less than 10 million viewers on average meant back in 1991 that you get cancelled quickly, if you don’t up your audience. As it happened, PALACE GUARD lost one million viewers with the second episode, so the cancellation was a sure thing. Still, CBS aired a third episode, probably “just to check”. When the numbers went down again, the adventures of D.W. Moffett were over and done with. But not for the few fans who were able to discover the show later on. All nine episodes were released on DVD under the “Prime Time Crime: The Stephen J. Cannell Collection” title.
Viewership numbers for the third episode are most likely nowhere to be found, since they weren’t published with the rest of the week’s numbers in the USA Today for some mysterious reason. It’s almost like even the weekly Nielsen charts wanted to forget that PALACE GUARD actually existed. The drop off in viewers didn’t seem to be that major though, and it should be sure that the viewership average still remained close to above 9.0 million viewers.