The CW is by far the smallest of the five network channels, and many of its shows are able to survive long-term despite ratings that would get them cancelled on one of the big four. One show that has eked by for going-on-four seasons is Beauty and the Beast, starring Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan as the titular Beauty/Catherine and Beast/Vincent. Sadly for fans of the show, Beauty and the Beast will officially be coming to an end after the Season 4 finale.
Premiering in 2012, Beauty and the Beast combined a police procedural format with a romantic drama. It followed NYPD detective Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk) as she investigates the murder of her mother. She crosses paths with former doctor and soldier Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan), whose exposure to a genetic mutation agent turned him into a creature who becomes a “beast” of sorts when his adrenaline spikes.
Beauty and the Beast had a recipe for success on The CW. Kristin Kreuk was already network royalty after spending eight years as Clark Kent’s major pre-Lois Lane love interest Lana Lang on Smallville, and Jay Ryan as…well, a hunky guy with major chemistry with Kreuk. In fact, the romance of Beauty and the Beast was refreshing in its own way. For a series based upon a scorching dynamic between two pretty people, Beauty and the Beast spared viewers an endless game of will-they-won’t-they. Three seasons after the premiere, the main couple is married and the mythology of the show is as deep as ever as new wrinkles are uncovered.
The cancellation – while unfortunate – comes as no huge surprise. The show has never had the exposure to garner new viewers, and the title of the series generally recalls an animated film featuring anthropomorphic furniture singing a tale as old as time rather than a police procedural/romance on The CW. Nevertheless, Beauty and the Beast did show signs of recovery after the first season and a half when the network moved it to a summer series. Scripted series are few and far between on network television during the hiatuses of the major shows, and summer was an ideal space for Beauty and the Beast to more or less flourish.
One small salve to the spirits of fans of the show may be that news of the cancellation came before Season 4 hit the airwaves. Shows remaining on ratings bubbles are always super stressful for the super fan, and Beauty and the Beast’s swan song in midseason or summer 2016 may provide the kind of closure that longtime viewers deserve.
Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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