All The Big TV Cancellations That Just Went Down
The 2018-2019 TV season was a noteworthy success for some shows across the primetime spectrum, both for new series and for time-honored favorites. However, for every breakout winner, there's a much larger number of series that are struggling to bring in the totals that keep networks comfortable.
The major network upfronts presentations, which are once again hitting in mid-May, tend to mark the point of the year when network execs are forced to make final decisions for the bubble shows that could feasibly fall on either side of the renewal-cancellation fence.
Here, we've rounded up all the biggest cancellations of the week so far, and will be adding to it as the bombs keep dropping across the primetime schedule. At least we don't have to worry about any of the summer shows going anywhere...yet.
The Fix (ABC) - Cancelled After Season 1
As promising as "a legal drama from the mind of O.J. Simpson-trial prosecutor Marcia Clark" sounded on paper, ABC's The Fix failed to capture audiences' attention spans for very long. Its May 6 episode, the eighth in a 10-episode season, hit new lows for the viewership and demo rating. Combine the low stats with the middling-to-negative critiques, and it might have felt like a felonious crime for ABC to keep the potential anthology series going for Season 2.
The Passage (Fox) - Cancelled After Season 1
Getting Saved by the Bell vet Mark-Paul Gosselaar locked in for a high-concept sci-fi thriller seemed like a win for Fox, especially after pulling the plug on Pitch a few years ago. Unfortunately, The Passage's blood-thirsty storyline didn't win over quite as many new fans as the network would have hoped, and now it's no more. At least it got to close out its debut season before getting the bad news.
Busy Tonight (E!) - Cancelled After Season 1
Busy Philipps E! series Busy Tonight was less of a traditional talk show and more like an invitation into the host's world each night. Philipps' sizable social media fandom couldn't get enough of the show, but the outside audience wasn't the largest. The final episode on E! is set to air on May 16, but Philipps gave her fans some optimism by saying she's in talks with other networks to possibly give the series a future beyond this untimely cancellation.
The Kids Are Alright (ABC) - Cancelled After Season 1
Starring Michael Cudlitz in his first major TV role following his Walking Dead exit, The Kids Are Alright centered on a ten-person-strong Irish Catholic family trying to stay sane in the 1970s. Things started off promisingly enough, with decent reviews and an impressive viewership, but as the series is now reaching its final two episodes, the overall viewership has fallen by more than 50%, as did the demo rating.
Lethal Weapon (Fox) - Cancelled After Season 3
Fox's embattled TV take on the Lethal Weapon film franchise started off as a pretty strong contender in Season 1, but after behind-the-scenes troubles became very public, and the ratings continued to drop, the show was looking less and less like a solid business decision. The average number of viewers per episode went from 6.5 million in the first season, to just over 3 million in Season 3, and the network decided they were just too old for that shit.
Angie Tribeca (TBS) - Cancelled After Season 4
Not since the days of the Naked Gun franchise has a pop culture parody been so blissfully on point as the Rashida Jones-starring Angie Tribeca, which thankfully got a full four seasons of go-for-broke absurdity before TBS called it quits. Many fans already figured this fate was imminent, considering Season 4's ten episodes got burned off via a pair of weekend marathons back in December. So it's rather strange (and shitty) that TBS waited another 5 months to make the cancellation official.
The Cool Kids (Fox) - Cancelled After Season 1
Not to be confused with the hip hop duo of the same name - which would be impossible - Fox's The Cool Kids centered on the all-star, over-the-hill comedic ensemble of Vicki Lawrence, Martin Mull, David Alan Grier and Leslie Jordan. The show appeared to be dependable enough early in its Friday-night run, capitalizing on excellent lead-in numbers from Tim Allen's Last Man Standing. But both shows' numbers dropped in 2019, and The Cool Kids' weren't big enough to keep it around.
Speechless (ABC) - Cancelled After Season 3
Family comedy Speechless, which focused on the family of a teen with cerebral palsy, was originally a hit with critics which also managed to strike a chord with audiences. But, the ratings decline from Season 2 became much worse when the show was moved into ABC's newly reborn TGIF lineup for the 2018-2019 season. Speechless ended its run as ABC's lowest rated scripted series, period, which explains why it was let go.
Splitting Up Together (ABC) - Cancelled After Season 2
Divorce comedy Splitting Up Together was never a ratings winner for ABC, so many were surprised when the network decided to give the show another shot after its eight-episode freshmen run. Well, unfortunately, Season 2 didn't fare any better with audiences, so ABC cut the Jenna Fisher and Oliver Hudson show loose in May 2019 after it spent the season as the network's third-lowest-rated comedy.
For the People (ABC) - Cancelled After Season 2
Having lived much of its existence on the cancellation bubble, the Shondaland-produced legal drama failed to reach even the bottom line ratings of Shonda Rhimes' other ABC dramas. The Thursday-afternoon timing on the cancellation was particularly rough on For the People's penultimate episode, which reached new season lows in both overall viewership and the key 18-49 demo rating. Meanwhile, each of Rhimes' other dramas landed big renewals.
Power (Starz) - Ending After Season 6
While technically not a victim of a straight-up cancellation, the 50 Cent-produced crime drama Power will be ending after Season 6. The final season will be super-sized to 15 installments, giving showrunner Courtney Kemp the proper time to close the story out. Fans shouldn't mourn this flagship series too hard, though, as it was also confirmed there are four different Power spinoffs in the works to expand this universe.
Be sure to keep an eye on this list, as we'll update it with any additional cancellations as they come in!
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
By Mike Reyes
By Mack Rawden
By Mack Rawden
By Mack Rawden
By Mick Joest
By Erik Swann