Networks are taking the ax to the TV shows that haven’t been making the cut this season. If people aren’t watching — and especially people in advertisers’ desired 18-to-49-year-old demographic — then it’s not worth a network’s money to keep airing a show people just do not care about. Here are the shows that have been cancelled so far this season.
USA’s new courtroom comedy Benched won’t be returning for a second season, Deadline reports. The show starred Eliza Coupe as a corporate lawyer who has a meltdown at work when she unfairly doesn’t make partner at the law firm she’s slaved at for years and is not only fired, but blacklisted from corporate law entirely. She finds herself only able to get a job as a public defender and feels very out of place in her new, less glamorous workplace. Luckily Jay Harrington’s veteran public defender character is there to show her the ropes. Unfortunately the show’s fish-out-of-water comedy didn’t appeal to viewers enough for USA to keep it around and it was the only one of USA’s original comedies not to be renewed for a second season.
Red Band Society
Even though this series had an Oscar-winner for a star (Octavia Spencer), a pilot with great reviews, and touching subject matter about kids who can remain positive despite being terminally ill, all those factors in its favor weren’t enough to prevent it from being cancelled. The series takes place in the pediatric ward of a Los Angeles hospital where the children and teens who live there during their treatment must lean on each other for support. The show just couldn’t pull in the viewers it needed for Fox to keep it on the air. According to a report from Deadline, the folks behind the series fought hard but just couldn’t find a way to save the show. Fox stopped production after the series completed its thirteenth episode. Ideas like a summer run on Fox or selling the show to another network were tossed around, but ultimately the show’s high budget and low ratings lead to its demise.
This Fox thriller starring David Tennant and Anna Gunn as two detectives investigating a small-town murder is being allowed to finish out its first season, but won’t be back for round two due to poor ratings. The show is a remake of the U.K. series Broadchurch and follows what happens in a sleepy northern California town when a young boy is found dead on the beach and authorities rule that the tragedy was a homicide. Entertainment Weekly said that Gracepoint was pulling in a low 0.9 rating in the key ages 18-49 demographic and only nabbed around 4 million viewers for its finale. Due to its limited series status, a second season of the show wasn’t necessarily a guarantee, but had it been more successful Fox probably would have renewed it, especially given the slew of cancellations the network has seen over the 2014-2015 season.
While there has been no official cancellation announcement from Fox on the debut sitcom from standup comedian John Mulaney, many consider the show to essentially be a dead series walking as the original order was reduced from 16 episodes to the already-filmed 13 after the show got abysmal ratings and horrible reviews. Some are saying it’s just a PR move on the part of Fox to avoid saying the show has been cancelled until all of the episodes have aired. The semi-autobiographical show follows Mulaney as he attempts to make it as a comedian in New York City, but it’s been criticized for essentially feeling like a cheap Seinfeld rip-off.
Manhattan Love Story
ABC cancelled the romantic comedy Manhattan Love Story, just to get the ratings killer away from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. By its third week on the air, Love Story had just a 0.7 rating in the key demographic and was starting to hurt S.H.I.E.L.D., which is one of ABC’s most important shows. Manhattan Love Story attempted to tell the story of a romance in NYC from the unfiltered perspectives of both the male and female participants, but according to critics, the jokes fell flat and there was no chemistry between the leads. Any viewers who actually cared won’t get to find out what happens between the lovers, as ABC pulled the plug on the show after just four episodes.
A to Z
Starring the mother of the recently wrapped How I Met Your Mother, Cristin Millioti, A to Z was supposed to be a feel-good romantic comedy in the same vein (editor’s note: typo fixed) as HIMYM, exploring the relationship between two seemingly ill-matched people after they’re set up by an online dating site. The show got decent reviews, but still failed to provide the same level of chemistry, charm, and good writing that kept HIMYM on the air for nine seasons. This show is an example of how even mediocre series often aren’t able to make the cut. Even though critics are saying it has potential, with a 66 Metascore, the ratings aren’t there. A to Z will finish its 13-episode order, but will not return to NBC for a second chance at success, Deadline has reported. According to the publication, A to Z has seen just a 0.7 rating among the key demographic.
Bad Judge’s cancellation isn’t really much of a surprise, given that it was widely considered to be one of the worst shows to debut this fall. The series sees Kate Walsh playing a woman who serves as an unconventional but highly respected criminal court judge by day, and plays drums in a rock band and generally lives a wild child lifestyle by night. If the premise sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. And viewers aren’t buying it any more than critics, with the show only nabbing a 0.9 rating in the key demographic, according to Deadline. The publication said that Bad Judge will finish out its 13-episode order, but won’t be coming back after that.
ABC’s rom-com for the millennial generation Selfie follows the struggles of a woman who’s extremely popular on social media, but wakes up one day and realizes that she doesn’t have any friends in real life. The show doesn’t have any viewers in real life, either, and ABC has axed it, deciding not to order any more episodes after the original order for 13 is completed, Deadline reports. The show’s dismal ratings in the crucial 18-49 demographic — just a 0.9 when it aired on November 4 before the decision was announced — contributed to the cancellation. Deadline said the show’s poor marketing as well as a lack of recognizable stars and poor ratings made the odds stacked against it.
The overly ambitious Fox reality show Utopia has been yanked from the schedule completely and contestants won’t be finishing the year-long social experiment in which they were supposed to build a utopian society while stranded in the middle of nowhere and being watched by cameras 24-7. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was easy to see it coming for the reality show as Fox had already cancelled the Tuesday episode in the hopes that more people would tune in on Fridays. No such luck, though, and we will never find out if the group of contestants was capable of building that utopian society in a year of solitude. The publication said that the most recent episode saw just a 0.5 rating in the key demographic and only 1.5 million viewers overall as reality television continues to struggle.
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