This week, another comedy has gotten the axe. Luckily, this time around, it’s not a network comedy that has bitten the dust. Instead, TV Land announced that Hot In Cleveland, one of the network’s earliest and most successful bids at original programming, will be finished after Season 6.
The news might come as a bit of a surprise, considering Hot in Cleveland just began airing Season 6 a couple of weeks ago. However, it seems that TV Land may have seen the cancelation coming well before Season 6 hit the schedule. The channel even made the Season 6 opener available for free. Way back in 2010, the first season saw two and a half to three million viewers tune in each episode. This was at the height of Betty White’s popularity resurgence following an SNL gig, a stint on NBC’s Community and Off Their Rockers. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of competition between cable and network television options right now, and Hot in Cleveland’s ratings have been dropping each season.
If you look at the Season 6 numbers, they aren’t nearly as stellar. In fact, Season 5 saw many of its episodes hit well under the 1 million total viewers mark. Then, the Season 6 premiere only saw 660,000 viewers tune in. Hoping to boost ratings, the pilot was even put up for free, but few people have caught the episode.
Honestly, less than a million viewers isn't particularly good. Last season, the show was nearing the hundredth episode mark, which may have helped to keep the show around. Regarding Season 6, it seems as if TV Land has kept Hot in Cleveland in the lineup because it is the network’s first scripted series and is the show that people most associate with the cable channel. Four years ago, its debut brought in the network’s highest numbers ever, and it’s nice that the series will get to finish out its run.
Luckily, TV Land won’t be totally destitute with Hot in Cleveland gone. The Hot in Cleveland spinoff, The Soul Man, starring Cedric the Entertainer is still going strong on the network. The channel also houses the sitcom The Exes and the reincarnation of Candid Camera. New series Younger, featuring Hilary Duff, will begin airing in January of 2015.
Plus, Hot in Cleveland should have plenty of time to close out its story however it wants. When TV Land renewed the comedy for Season 6, the network signed on for 24 episodes, and it looks as if fans will be able to catch all 24 episodes over the next several months. Six seasons is a long time to be on the air. I think that we sometimes forget this in the age of CBS shows that run for more than a decade. It’s extremely hard to be a show that lasts for more than one or two seasons, and and no matter what projects that Betty White and the rest of the Hot in Cleveland team get up to after the comedy ends, they’ve have a damn good cable run.