Spring has many upsides, such as nicer weather and a break from school, but for every fan of television, it has one downside: cancellation season. Major television networks such as ABC and FOX have released a ruthless stream of TV show cancellation announcements, many of which included popular shows with dedicated fan bases. Many audiences across the country, from crime show fans to country music fans, have been devastated by the announcement that their favorite show is not coming back for another season. Now every person who is a fan of a television show is left asking the same question: “Is my show safe?”
Perhaps the most shocking of the entire wave of TV show cancellations is the fact that two of ABC’s fan-favorite shows, Castle and country drama Nashville, received the axe. Despite its extensive fan base, Castle’s cancellation had been predicted by some fans, considering it had already been on for eight seasons and essential actors had already begun to leave the show. However, fans were completely blindsided when Nashville’s cancellation was announced. The show had been bringing in many viewers and was still relatively fresh to the air, consisting of only four seasons. Dedicated fans of the drama even brought the issue to Twitter, where they began trending “#BringBackNashville.” The network’s president Channing Dungey finally spoke out to defend their big decision. “The production studios in each case were looking for the best creative and financial ways to make room for new seasons,” Dungey explained. “At the end of the day, the future for us did not necessarily lie in those shows.”
ABC is also facing backlash for canceling the popular Marvel show Agent Carter that revolves around a woman fighting atomic threats and institutional sexism simultaneously. Now that one of ABC’s only female-centric shows is gone, outraged viewers are accusing the network of being sexist. ABC has yet to comment on the accusations. In addition to Nashville, Castle, and Agent Carter, ABC also announced the cancellation of family show The Muppets, medieval musical comedy Galavant, and new drama series The Family.
While ABC made cancellations based on what the network wanted its future to consist of, FOX made cancellations based solely on viewer ratings. The Grinder, a sitcom starring Rob Lowe, was well-received but apparently not well-received by enough people because Rob Lowe announced on May 12 via Twitter that the show would not be returning for a second season. The new John Stamos comedy called Grandfathered was also cancelled after one season. The show pulled more viewers than The Grinder but remained less critically-acclaimed, thus sending it to the chopping block.
This seemingly-endless tidal wave of TV show cancellations does have its perks; with each show cancellation comes an empty spot on its network that allows room for a newer, better show to take its place. On May 16, FOX released trailers for eight new shows, including a music drama called Star and a TV remake of the classic horror movie The Exorcist. On ABC, mass-producer Shonda Rhimes is adding her fifth show to the network with Still Star-Crossed, a Romeo and Juliet sequel following original characters Benvolio and Rosaline. These are just three of dozens of new shows airing within the next year, and fans grieving over the cancellation of their favorite shows can find comfort in the dozens of new shows awaiting them.