TV is a competitive game, and not all shows are able to build the audiences needed to last on the small screen. Cable shows tend to not require ratings as high as shows on the major broadcast networks, but even the most indulgent cable channels have to draw the line somewhere. Unfortunately for Man Seeking Woman, FXX has finally drawn the line and given the cancellation order. Man Seeking Woman will not return for a Season 4.
Man Seeking Woman has been a hit with critics from the very beginning, with many responding to the combination of smart writing and excellent performances. Sadly, the critical praise never led to exceptional viewership. By the end of Season 3, Man Seeking Woman was averaging a mere 367,000 total viewers per episode. Of that number, 268,000 were in the valuable 18-49 age demographic. While that's still a significant percentage of the show's total numbers, it's a rather small number nonetheless.
Season 3 came to an end back on March 8, and the finale actually drew the highest viewership and ratings in the 18-49 demographic of the entire season, but it wasn't enough to save the series. Deadline reports that folks behind the scenes at FX and FXX have used the last month to analyze viewing data from people who watched Man Seeking Woman after the live broadcasts. Many shows actually experience huge bumps in the ratings when delayed viewership is taken into account; we can't say how the Man Seeking Woman numbers did or not change. All we can really say is that the brass didn't get the numbers needed to justify a fourth season.
There's also the very real possibility that Man Seeking Woman's numbers would have been even worse if not for the juggernaut series It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia as its lead-in. Season 3 episodes reportedly retained around 35% of the Always Sunny audience. All three seasons aired after seasons of Always Sunny, so it's really impossible to say how Man Seeking Woman would have fared without Always Sunny as a partner.
Star Jay Baruchel has proved that he has what it takes to lead a TV show, so we can only cross our fingers that he finds another new comedy sooner rather than later. If he does land another TV gig in the not-too-distant future, hopefully it has as much critical potential has Man Seeking Woman. Who knows? Maybe he simply needs a network with a broader reach than FXX to win an audience. We'll have to wait and see.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news. Man Seeking Woman may have come to an end on FXX, but there are still plenty of awesome options on the small screen. Be sure to check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule for a look at everything available now and in the near future, and don't forget to drop by our rundown of the 2017 TV renewals and cancellations so far.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).