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A beloved ABC Family show has just gotten the axe. Chasing Life has been canceled after just two seasons. The series, which was based on a Spanish language show in Mexico called Terminales, ended its second season this Monday. The cliffhanger-heavy episode ended up closing the series to record low ratings.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the story about the cancelation earlier today. Chasing Life centered on 24-year-old April Carver (Italia Ricci), a journalist at a Boston newspaper who’s constantly trying to impress her no-nonsense boss. While balancing work with her duties to her mom, little sister and grandmother - as well as experiencing a new relationship with a co-worker - April finds out from her estranged uncle that she has leukemia.
The show was popular enough to air in several other countries, including Canada, Australia, Turkey and Italy. It was also nominated for a total of five Teen Choice Awards in 2014 and 2015. The premise of original show Terminales was a lot more focused on adding some racy romance to the cancer story, which, for obvious reasons, the ABC Family show steered away from.
The cancelation is likely to be a part of at least a few more such endings for other shows on the network. ABC Family is the the midst of a rebranding, and the network is looking to add even more scripted shows over the next four years, as it begins to focus programming on the many firsts in the lives of its younger skewing audience. The original target of the channel was to aim programming at millenials, but that generation has grown up quite a bit since the network began.
It’s always a shame when a show that tries to address a topic from another angle doesn’t get to stick around long. And, as any TV watcher knows, it’s even more of a shame when your favorite show gets canned after a serious dose of cliffhangery goodness. The same thing happened with the channel’s Bunheads a few season ago, which was a show I was deeply devoted to, and was sad to see go the way of so many underappreciated television shows before it.
Talking about cancer in a way that’s heartfelt, but gentle enough for young adults, can be a tall order, but it was clear that Chasing Life was doing its best to get the balance of subject matter and what the audience needed just right. As with everything in TV, and entertainment in general, all they can do is try. And all the audience can do is give shows a chance to let them. I'm sure the audience tried with Chasing Life, but sometimes that effort isn't enough.