Fox has been handing out renewals and cancellations at a measured tick in recent months, as this week's Upfronts presentations have all the networks scrambling. And during this morning's conference call with network CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman, the topic of the anthology horror drama Scream Queens was addressed, though not in a way that will have fans very happy, as the Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts-starring show has been ostensibly cancelled, with no Season 3 in the pipeline. Here's how Newman put it during the call.
Ryan [Murphy] told the story of the group of characters he created over the course of the two seasons, and feels as if it was a complete story. We have no plans at this point to go back there and tell more stories. We won't be seeing Scream Queens this season.
For fans of the darkly comedic and bloody Scream Queens, this news is definitely disappointing, as the show did things that few others on TV would (especially on the basic networks), and with an ensemble cast that blew others out of the water. Regardless of how the cast members were used, Season 2 had Jamie Lee Curtis, John Stamos, Jerry O'Connell, Taylor Lautner, Lea Michele and Kirstie Alley all together, and that's less than half of the actors. Now imagine them all together in any other show that made more sense.
Unfortunately, star power wasn't able to draw in viewers very consistently. In fact, nothing that Scream Queens did brought audiences out in very large numbers. Season 1 was already thought to be an under-performer, averaging just over 4 million viewers across the whole college-set season, but it still earned a second batch of episodes. Season 2, plummeted in the numbers, though, with only 2.17 million viewers watching on average, and Fox has plenty of other projects that could probably gain more eyeballs in the fall.
Of course, network executives hate to use the word "cancelled." And that's doubly true at Fox, where this last season hosted a 24 revival, a Prison Break revival and an X-Files revival. So if there's some point in the future when Ryan Murphy doesn't have 14 other shows on the air calling for him Emmy-worthy attention, perhaps Scream Queens could resurface for more deadly destruction, but not a second before that.
While we might not get to see Lea Michele back on Scream Queens, the actress is part of a comedy pilot at ABC that will likely have its future foretold this week. In the meantime, check out Fox's full Fall TV schedule, and head to our summer TV guide to see all the shows you'll definitely be able to watch in the coming months.