Cancelled ABC Drama For Life Could Get A Second Chance On Streaming

Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock) stands in court on For Life (2020)

Cancellation… It's a pain that so many faithful TV viewers are familiar with, and it comes every year around the spring. It’s rarely ever easy to say goodbye to a show, and the end of this particular television season saw a number of fan-favorite shows cancelled. ABC legal drama For Life was among the casualties, having received the axe after a two-season run. However, it would now appear that the show may find new life in the realm of streaming.

According to reports, For Life could return for a third season on Amazon’s IMDb TV. Just recently, the platform snagged the free streaming rights to the first two seasons of the show, and THR reports that a third season will be predicated on the show’s performance on the platform. Interestingly, sources also tell the trade that ahead of an official renewal, the cast of the show has extended their options with Sony Pictures Television and ABC Signature, the studios that co-produced the show.

The ad-supported IMDb TV, which originally launched back in 2019, currently has a number of original series in various stages of development. At present, the small-screen incarnation of Alex Rider is arguably the streamer’s most well-known show. But the service is also producing franchises that will build on legacy franchises. Leverage: Redemption, a continuation of the classic TNT series and a spinoff of Amazon Prime’s Bosch are both in the works at the streamer. So clearly IMDb TV has no problem acquiring or repurposing properties with devoted fanbases.

Created by The Last Ship alum Hank Steinberg, For Life is loosely based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., a man convicted of a crime he did not commit. While incarcerated, Wright worked as a paralegal and reportedly helped overturn the wrongful convictions of twenty of his fellow inmates and would eventually prove his own innocence. The show earned mostly positive reviews during its run and seemed to earn a solid following.

ABC cancelled For Life along with fellow shows Rebel, mixed-ish, American Housewife and Call Your Mother. This lends credence to the idea that this was a somewhat brutal year for cancellations.

For Life isn’t the only show that’s recently been vying for a streaming resurgence, either. Following the cancellation of NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, the producers sought to have the show moved to sister-streaming service Peacock. Those efforts apparently failed, but the latest reports indicate that the creatives are still searching for a new home.

Fellow NBC show Manifest was also searching for a new home after being cancelled. The producers would engage in conversations with Netflix, but talks would ultimately break down, much to the sadness of the cast and crew.

For Life getting a third season at IMDb TV would definitely be a pick-me-up for fans of the series. And if they really want those new episodes, they’ll need to binge those two first seasons when they land on the platform.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.