Leave a Comment
It’s been a short while since CBS dropped the schedule-altering TV news that a bunch of its programming was getting cancelled. Among these were a couple of staples, such as God Friended Me and Man with a Plan and news shows, including Carol’s Second Act, Tommy and the brand-spanking new series Broke starring fan-favorite actress Pauley Perette. According to a CBS head honcho it was a “tough call.”
Now, I know it would never be likely for a head honcho of any sort to act like cancelling a series is an easy decision. After all, a lot of people depend on network shows staying alive to maintain salaries and livelihoods. However, CBS Head of Entertainment Kelly Kahl called cancelling Broke and others a “tough call,” but also went a step further and explained why.
At the end of the day they weren’t doing the numbers we were hoping for, and despite liking them creatively, knowing timely decisions were upon us, we had to make tough calls to move on from those shows. You want to keep them all for another season; that’s what makes these calls tough. You invest a lot of time and effort and people put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into these shows, and when you have to say goodbye. It’s a tough call.
What Kelly Kahl does not say in his comment to Deadline is that this business in general is difficult. I doubt anyone working on the backend at the Eye Network relishes revealing that people will need to find new jobs come fall. But that’s also just the nature of the TV business, whether or not a person works for a network or a subscription streaming service like Netflix.
There are different reasons for cancellations. God Friended Me was a bit of a surprise as it had never been a huge ratings bringer but was critically liked; often that’s enough to propel a show for a while longer. Man with a Plan was possibly more about its budget than its ratings per the report. Broke had a strong premiere episode but then the ratings dipped in subsequent weeks.
So, “tough” call or no, there are often different reasons for networks choosing to let shows go, although the God Friended me cancellation seemed to be more of a shock to that cast than some of the other shows being let go. In fact, Brandon Michael Hall and others revealed as much in a previous interview and the show ultimately ended without revealing who “god” was.
Pauley Perrette, on the other hand, seemed less surprised by the news and more grateful for the opportunity, previously noting:
About the “limited series” Broke. Many new episodes are airing. This show restored my faith in people, in this industry. SO GRATEFUL I worked with this cast & crew. Best people I’ve EVER worked with. Healed me. Changed me. Made me whole. So Blessed.
The yearly cancellation bloodbath is nothing new and has actually been less bad in some ways this year as some networks are waiting to figure out when shows will be able to go back into production and how the industry will look. For now there is a already a lengthy list of shows we are saying goodbye to this year.
Fall will need to wait to be determined, but you can see what is still on the docket for summer TV with our full schedule.