Fans of the hit CBS sitcom Mom have been dealt quite the one-two punch in the past year. First, early last fall saw star Anna Faris reveal that she wouldn't return for Season 8 of the series that she'd anchored alongside Allison Janney since 2013. Then, as Season 8 was airing in February of this year, viewers got word that the show had been cancelled, and wouldn't come back for Season 9. Everyone was shocked, but that includes leading lady Janney, who has now revealed that she has some idea why Mom was cancelled, but that she's been told not to talk about it.
Allison Janney is known for being a consummate professional who always brings the most to every performance, which her several Emmy Award-winning (and Oscar winning) roles have proven over many years. But, she's also known for speaking her mind, and when Mom was cancelled out of the blue, and not even given another season to really lead up to a series finale, Janney openly expressed her shock. She, obviously, has way more potential insider knowledge than any of us would on why Mom was cancelled, but during an appearance on CBS' Sunday Morning, Janney revealed that fans will be unlikely to hear about that any time soon, and said:
Yeah, it was a shock. I have my own theories, but I've been told not to express them.
Oh. Now, it should be noted that Allison Janney did laugh a bit after saying this, but I think maybe it was more to break the tension and (possibly) stop the person who interviewed her from asking potentially incendiary follow up questions. And, it worked, because her interviewer also had a light giggle, and they appeared to move on. I have a feeling that this wasn't simply Janney being a funny lady, though, and that she both really has theories on why Mom was cancelled suddenly and was told to keep them to herself.
It was just back in mid-March that Allison Janney appeared on The Late, Late Show with James Corden and talked about how she, and at least some of the others working on Mom, figured they were good for at least another full season of sober-living shenanigans for the characters. But, Janney added that "they decided not, and there’s so many reasons behind that. Probably money," which likely got folks behind the scenes at higher levels talking, and could have led to Janney being told to stop airing her theories in public.
So, when I hear something like this, my (relatively) twisted and conspiracy-minded brain usually goes to all kinds of dark corners to come up with possible explanations. But, the simple fact is that one of the "many reasons" Allison Janney could have been alluding to might be the loss of Anna Faris. There are a lot of shows which carry on, and do it quite well and for many years, after a lead leaves, but the foundation of Mom had always been the relationship between Janney's Bonnie and her daughter, Faris' Christy. On top of that, Mom isn't exactly like Grey's Anatomy, where main characters leave and others enter all the time, so that audiences are used to the turnover.
We could probably come up with tons of theories to expound on what we have heard from Allison Janney about why Mom was cancelled, but it's probably better not to. Janney is already moving on, and she'd likely want fans to be able to do the same.
The series finale of Mom airs this Thursday, May 13, on CBS, at 9 p.m. EST. For more to watch in the coming weeks, check out our 2021 summer TV premiere schedule!