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Thursday, May 12, 2016

CANCELLATION ALERT: Castle, Nashville, Marvel's Agent Carter, Galavant, The Muppets, The Family

ABC sent shockwaves on Thursday night by cancelling some longtime favorites but it's clear this is a new regime and some of these moves needed to happen.

The most surprising was Castle, which was cancelled after eight seasons. The show has spent its entire run in the Monday 10pm slot, much to the chagrin of schedule followers and analysts like myself. It was always a decent performing show and ABC's only reliable procedural drama. But it continued to reap the benefits of one of ABC's best slots for years, following hits Dancing with the Stars and The Bachelor. Finally something else will get a chance. A short renewal for Castle seemed quite likely but there was also backlash when fans learned that female lead Stana Katic was not asked back for season nine. An alternate ending was shot in the event of this cancellation happening and will air on Monday in what will now be the series finale.

Another long running cancellation that was surprising to some was Nashville after four seasons. Nashville was basically a shorter-running Castle. It had a great timeslot that it kept, perhaps undeservedly at times, for four seasons. The country music drama had some critical attention early on but soon became a low-rated show that had a small but loyal group of fans. Most expected either Castle or Nashville to at least get a short final season order and it wouldn't have been surprising to see both get renewed but ABC is ready to move on.

Two shows were also cancelled after two short seasons: Marvel's Agent Carter and Galavant. Both shows were bridge shows: Agent Carter for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Galavant for Once Upon a Time. The cancellation of both was widely expected. Agent Carter star Hayley Atwell will be in a new drama for ABC, Conviction, while ABC was developing Marvel's Most Wanted which ultimately didn't get picked up. Galavant, like some other shows on this list, was a favorite of former ABC head Paul Lee but his departure coupled with minuscule ratings doomed Galavant.

Finally, there were two shows cancelled after just one season: The Muppets and The Family. The Muppets was a high profile flop After a big debut in the fall, its audience quickly vanished and it got a pounding from critics. It tried a revamp after the holidays that was a bit more acceptable to critics but the ratings were even worse. ABC rushed this to air in the fall, perhaps it should have had a little more time to fully develop. The Family was given the Sunday 9pm slot following the Oscars, which was kind to shows in the past but it was mostly ignored and spent most Sundays in the 0.7-0.9 demo range.

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