Allegiance's Hope Davis and Scott Cohen, moments before their fatal, final slap

What’s slappening, The Slap fans? Here’s some news that might wind you up: NBC has slapped Allegiance, the Russian spy show that it was really hoping you would mistake for The Americans, with cancellation. And in its place the network has decided to give you The Slap, the show so nice, it’s frantically trying to interest you twice.

Allegiance, which starred Hope Davis and Scott Cohen as Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, failed to make much of an impression on anyone (including The A.V. Club’s Joshua Alston, who called it “onerous”), with its last episode drawing only 3.4 million viewers and a 0.8 demo rating. Which clearly can’t compare with The Slap, now being moved from its two-hours-earlier timeslot, where the most recent episode drew 3.4 million viewers and a 0.8 demo rating. Very, very different situation. Presumably, NBC finally realized that watching Zachary Quinto slap the living hell out of a child is more of a seductive, late-night affair.

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It also likely doesn’t hurt that NBC really wants The Slap to land, given its stacked-deck cast including Uma Thurman, Peter Sarsgaard, Brian Cox, Thandie Newton, Melissa George, Penn Badgley, and captain of the U.S.S. Slaphand, Quinto himself. Allegiance, in comparison, had not-Keri Russell and the guy Lorelai didn’t want to marry. There is no word from the canceled show about how the whole thing went down, but The A.V. Club has found this exclusive image of NBC delivering the news to Allegiance: