So Why Did It Fail?
Executives were worried about the ratings and wanted to see changes. They failed to see that some of their actions really didn’t help the ratings. Partners in Crime aired at 9 PM on Saturday nights, a time slot that was not really a hot spot, and it had to compete against The Love Boat and Airwolf. The title was also problematic as the series shared the same title as a PBS series which premiered in the Fall of 1984. When The New York Times reviewed the PBS show, it said of the premiere that this “part of public television's Mystery! series, is very silly indeed. Its efforts to be lighthearted will leave you either slightly giddy or mildly irritated, depending on your tolerance for terribly sophisticated, flapper-era Britons." This review did no favors for the Carter and Anderson show as the eighth episode of it had aired five days earlier. Of course, this review came out in the era before easy access television menus with a lot of description for each show. Overseas, they tried a different title to eliminate confusion; it aired as Fifty/Fifty so that it could not be confused with the British show, Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime.
When the show did not have great ratings, the executives decided they needed to make some big changes. One of those changes was to kick out Leonard Stern and replace him with Larry Brody to make the show darker and less fun. This did not help to revive the struggling show though, and after only 13 episodes, the show was cancelled and the NBC Saturday night schedule was shuffled around and new shows were added.