Every time a Katey Sagal TV show gets cancelled, an angel has to give up its wings. That's probably not true, but there was still something morally indecent about Rebel facing cancellation at ABC just five episodes into its initial season's run. The show seemed like a lock to last at least a few years, with Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 showrunner Krista Vernoff also behind the legal drama, but those expectations were certainly dashed. Now, though, it appears as if Rebel has its best shot at returning for Season 2 not on broadcast, but via streaming.
In the first place, Rebel Season 1 is now available to watch in full on IMDb TV, the free streaming platform owned by Amazon, which is great for anyone who wasn't able to keep up with the initial run on ABC. In the second place, Deadline is reporting part of the deal made between IMDb TV and production studio ABC Signature is an option for the streamer to order up a second season of Rebel, but it will hinge on how well the drama fares at its new home.
Essentially, the more people who visit IMDb TV to watch Rebel episodes, the better the show's chances to return to fans for another batch of episodes. Granted, if enough people had tuned in to watch the show on ABC in the first place, the network might not have pulled the plug so quickly. But this isn't about looking back or having past regrets; it's about making sure Rebel can get at least one more season to provide some closure and end the show in a more meaningful way.
Something that stops other cancelled shows from being renewed is cast contracts, which often tend to expire not long after such cancellations happen. However, it's reported that Katey Sagal, Andy Garcia, and the rest of the cast maintain the option to return for more. And Sagal herself has spoken in the past about wanting more from this character (who is based on activist Erin Brockovich), so it would be surprising if she and/or others chose to bow out should IMDb TV decide to continue Rebel's storytelling.
Making things even more believable is that this isn't the only cancelled-by-ABC drama that IMDb TV is giving a shot at a potential renewal. Recently, the first two seasons of the legal drama For Life were added to the streaming service's library, and if those end up doing well and drawing enough viewers, then it may very well get Season 3.
Not that Katey Sagal doesn't have other projects already on her plate. She's now an even bigger part of The Conners after the ABC comedy's big Season 3 finale, and the showrunner is aiming to have her show up more in Season 4. Plus, she is now set to take on a lead role in a Blumhouse Television film for Epix called Tattered Hearts, in which she's play a reclusive country music legend who serves as a twisted inspiration for a prospective new musical duo. It's unclear when her schedule would open up to allow for more Rebel to be filmed if Season 2 would happen, but I'm sure those details would get worked out accordingly.
For now, any and all Rebel fans out there should spread the word that IMDb TV is the place to be to bring Katey Sagal's legal drama back from the filing cabinet of doom.