The Following And Backstrom Were Canceled By Fox

With the broadcast network upfronts coming next week, everybody has been doing a lot of moving and shaking with their upcoming schedules. And it doesn’t take a highly-skilled investigator to see that Fox has grown weary of two of its most well-known detectives, as the network has officially canceled both the cultish thriller The Following and the freshman dramedy Backstrom. Quoth the cigar-smoking raven. Nevermore.

The Following is still currently in its third season, although there’s not much question why Fox has decided to end its stay on Death Row. After a first season with strong ratings that reflected the tense cat-and-mouse game played by Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy and James Purefoy’s Joe Carroll, the series started slipping both in terms of its narrative and its audience appeal, getting cartoonishly bonkers at times as it stretched out its initial plotline with other cult leaders. The Season 3 premiere brought in almost 5 million viewers when it aired, less than half of the previous seasons’ premieres, and the numbers dropped from there, with this week’s episode bringing in just 3.2 million pairs of peepers.

But, as it goes with most canceled fan favorites these days, this may not be the end for Ryan Hardy and Shawn Ashmore’s Mike Weston. According to Deadline, there have been talks about bringing The Following to other outlets, with Hulu getting namechecked. (The streaming service is also working to get Fox’s The Mindy Project back to audiences.) But this is being called “a long shot,” so let’s not count our hypnotic chickens before they’ve hatched.


The Rainn Wilson-starring Backstrom, however, was never what one would call a ratings hit. Though its series premiere in January brought in almost 8 million viewers, the numbers quickly dropped, hovering around the 3.5 million mark for its 13-episode run. The season series finale, which aired on April 30, brought in only 2.8 million live viewers. Kind of fitting that it was called “Rock Bottom.”

Executive producer and developer Hart Hanson shared the news in an amusingly poetic way.

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You can still check out the final four episodes of The Following in two-hour blocks over the next two Monday nights, with the finale airing on May 18, and stay tuned for any more info on where the show may flock to in the future. To find out if all your other favorite shows are staying are going, check out our cancelation/renewal rundown here.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.