Each year, generally in May, the network TV series that air during the regular school season are either renewed or canceled, depending on numerous factors (though mostly ratings). The big announcement for most (but definitely not all) of these shows came on Friday, May 10 this year. While there were some expected renewals like ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat and sad, yet assumed cancelations like Fox film-adaptation Lethal Weapon, others were more shocking. Here are a few of the most surprising thus far.
Renewed: Station 19
This firefighter-focused drama on ABC is the second spinoff of record-breaking medical series Grey’s Anatomy. It follows Ben Warren, formerly a doctor at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, on his new career path at the titular Seattle firehouse.
Station 19 has been doing OK in its ratings, but it’s certainly not a powerhouse like its predecessor. Previous Grey’s spinoff Private Practice lasted a respectable six seasons before its own cancelation back in 2013. A number of well-received crossover events paired with a new showrunner (Grey’s Anatomy’s Krista Vernoff) have apparently given the network enough confidence to renew Station 19 for a third season.
Canceled: Life in Pieces
This is a cute CBS sitcom with an ordinary premise but unique execution. Life in Pieces follows the Los Angeles-based Short family, which is made up of a set of grandparents, their three children, and several grandchildren, in a series of vignettes. Each episode features four smaller stories, many of which tie together eventually.
The series has a fairly respectable cast including James Brolin, Colin Hanks, and Betsy Brandt. It’s Modern Family-esque, but with less diversity, and a lot of great guest stars. Despite having a solid fan base, the ratings for Life in Pieces have dipped a bit, resulting in its cancelation after four seasons.
Renewed: Single Parents
When it comes to sitcoms, the first season is definitely a make-or-break situation. Single Parents has a cute premise, which can be gleaned from its title, but doesn’t have a lot that makes it terribly unique, so it was definitely one that managed to squeak by when it was renewed for a Season 2.
Fortunately, the series has a lot on its side. Single Parents was created by New Girl showrunner Liz Meriwether and writer J.J. Philbin (yes, the daughter of Regis Philbin). It also features a solid cast, including Taran Killam, Leighton Meester, and Brad Garrett. After having a full 23 episodes to establish its direction, this is a show that is definitely on an upswing.
Canceled: The Passage
Book adaptations are always a risk, and The Passage was no exception. The Fox thriller series starred Mark-Paul Gosselaar as a federal agent working to help the scientists of Project Noah as well as the experiment’s young test subject, as an apocalypse looms nigh.
The series managed to garner a dedicated following, but sadly, the numbers just weren’t there. After its 10-episode first season ended in March, fans eagerly awaited renewal news — until now. Gosselaar posted a tribute to the now-canceled series on Instagram, sharing that he is “truly saddened” that it won’t continue.