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Fresh Off the Boat fans should prepare for some bad news! The long-running sitcom following an Asian-American family after they relocated in the mid-90s became a staple of the ABC comedy lineup, but now the show starring Constance Wu and Randall Park has been cancelled after six seasons. Unfortunately, that's not the only bad news.
The show is currently in its sixth season. Fresh Off the Boat will come to an end in 2020, with a series finale comprised of the 14th and 15th episodes, which means the show will not be getting an extended episode order beyond the initial 15, making the sixth and final season the shortest since the first season back in 2015.
Fortunately, ABC intends to say goodbye to Fresh Off the Boat in grand fashion. Instead of the series finale airing as a two-parter over two weeks, the series will close with an hour-long episode on Friday, February 21. At the time of writing, six episodes of Season 6 have aired, so fans do have more than half the season left before the final credits roll.
In a statement (via EW), ABC President Karey Burke had nothing but kind words about Fresh Off the Boat, saying this:
We couldn’t be prouder of this game-changing show and the impact it has had on our cultural landscape. The success of Fresh Off the Boat has helped pave the way for inclusion throughout the industry. Nahnatchka Khan and her brilliant creative team have created an unforgettable series with an Asian-American family front and center, something that hadn’t been done in two decades. The cast, led by Randall Park and Constance Wu, is one of the finest and funniest on television. We’ll miss the Huang family and are eternally grateful for the incredibly heartfelt stories they have told these past six seasons
The show's original time slot was on ABC Tuesdays, and the ratings started out strongly before declining to a low in Season 4. Fresh Off the Boat was then moved to Fridays for Seasons 5 and 6. While moves to Fridays can mean death for primetime series, especially considering some of the shows that died on ABC Fridays in previous years, the comedy block did well enough, and a few more seasons for Fresh were feasible. So, why the cancellation?
ABC could have decided to end the series simply because of the ratings. TV Series Finale reports that Fresh Off the Boat Season 6 is only averaging a 0.45 rating in the 18-49 age demographic in Live+Same day calculations, with an average audience of only 2.7 million.
While those technically aren't the worst ratings on broadcast network primetime, both represent drops of more than 20% from Season 5. It's entirely possible that ABC simply wants to go in a new direction and decided Fresh had run its course.
Of course, it may not have helped that most of the buzz surrounding Fresh Off the Boat Season 6 concerns not the exploits of the Huang family, but rather leading lady Constance Wu's reaction to the renewal news back when it first broke.
Far from rejoicing that the TV show that provided her big break into network primetime would live on for another season, Constance Wu took to social media with some shocking posts that were far from complimentary. Although she later explained them, and ABC President Karey Burke said that everybody "took her at her word" when she apologized, the internet is forever.
Now that Fresh Off the Boat has been cancelled, will Constance Wu be able to start accepting projects she couldn't have taken while leading an ABC sitcom? And what about the rest of the cast? Will Randall Park punch Keanu Reeves again for Netflix? Keanu Reeves is great, but pretty much everybody who caught the streamer's Always Be My Maybe agrees that was hilarious.
New episodes of Fresh Off the Boat's now-final season air Fridays at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.