We're a month into the Fall 2016 TV season, and early ratings already indicate some obvious successes and some potential failures. But over at CBS, decisions still had to be made for some of the network's programming from the summer months, and those decisions are not positive ones for anyone involved with the oddball satire BrainDead and the mystery drama American Gothic, as both series have been cancelled after only one season each.
BrainDead and American Gothic were the only two new series put into production for summer releases at CBS, so it is somewhat strange that both of them would get axed so quickly. CBS is a network known for bringing in massive audiences for stalwart hits like NCIS and The Big Bang Theory, so perhaps the lower turnouts for the freshman series were below even the minimum expectations, thus cementing their fates.
That's almost certainly the case with BrainDead, the conspiratorial bugs-in-politics series from The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King. Its cancellation, as reported by TVLine, was basically assured not only by dwindling ratings - the viewership dropped from the premiere's 4.5 million to a late-season low of 1.7 million people - but also by the creators taking on the gig as showrunners for the upcoming Good Wife spinoff heading to CBS All Access. Though there was a four-season plan for BrainDead when it was conceived, it's hard to go anywhere without a creative team. Hopefully we get to see this talented cast land new jobs immediately.
American Gothic did relatively better on the ratings front in that it wasn't a victim of such drastic viewership dips. Over the course of its 13-episode season, in which a family dealt with the realization that the patriarch may have been a serial killer, American Gothic saw its audience hover around the 2.5 million mark, which just isn't always big enough for a primetime series on a major network these days. Creator Corinne Brinkerhoff is currently busy with The CW's No Tomorrow, so at least we don't have to worry about her being absent from our TVs.
Thankfully, both of those shows had basically tied up enough loose ends so that the cancellations aren't the most frustratingly debilitating things to accept. And anyway, CBS has more than enough new programming to serve as proper replacements, with Bull, MacGyver and Kevin Can Wait earning full season orders earlier today. Plus, we've got Joel McHale and Matt LeBlanc getting ready to debut their new shows, on top of the Jason Katims-created drama Pure Genius coming in two weeks.
We won't know what'll be hitting CBS and the other networks in time for Summer 2017, but there are still shows left to debut this year, and you can find them in our fall premiere schedule.