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Sports and comedy have gone hand in hand for many years, but not everything that comes from the combination is worthy of making it to the championship. One such example is the hockey-centered freshman IFC series Benders, which has been dropped into TV’s penalty box and will not return for Season 2 later this year.
IFC decided not to move forward with Benders, and it’s not entirely unexpected, as the show hasn’t done much to bring in hordes of viewers. Granted, very little on the cable channel draws in huge audiences, but Benders fell below averages. Though one episode was watched by a season-high 144,000 viewers, most episodes were seen live by under 80,000 people.
That said, the show did perform well in the week after each episode aired, with some of the episodes nearly doubling their initial audiences in Live+7 results, according to Deadline. And people were good about watching it On Demand and online as well, which certainly made IFC’s decision about the future of the show a little tougher. Alas, none of it was enough to warrant more.
It seems that Benders cancellation has been in the grapevine for a couple of weeks now, as star Chris Distefano responded to someone about it on Twitter.
Created by Tom Sellitti and Jim Serpico, both of whom are partnered with Denis Leary at their production company Apostle, Benders centered on a group of hockey-obsessed friends whose lives revolve around their team The Chubbys. Starring the aforementioned Distefano, Andrew Schulz, Lindsey Broad, Mark Gessner and Ruy Iskandar (among others), the show kept the guys’ personal lives full of problems and obstacles that almost always came back to haunt the team in some way. Think The League, only with hockey and no Rafi. The always great Mark Margolis had a recurring role, and comedians Jim Norton and Jim Breuer made guest appearances.
Check out a trailer for the show below, and if you haven’t seen it yet and want to check it out, all eight episodes are currently available for viewing on IFC’s website.
Benders debuted alongside David Krumholz’s oddball Gigi Does It, which was also canceled earlier this month. At this point, IFC is still riding strong on originals like Comedy Bang! Bang!, Maron and Portlandia, with David Cross’ The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret making a return for Season 3 next year. Here’s hoping whatever IFC has in development is good enough to last a little longer than one season.