Did ABC cancel your favorite program? Why these shows have ended

ABC recently canceled shows including 'Castle,' 'Agent Carter,' and 'The Muppets,' giving some insight to how broadcast networks work today.

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
Kermit the Frog, writer/executive producer Bob Kushell, and Miss Piggy participate in 'The Muppets' panel at the Disney/ABC Summer TCA Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. in 2015.

As networks decide which of their programs to renew or cancel for the upcoming TV season, ABC has decided to say goodbye to several of its shows. 

The relatively older show “Castle,” which centered on a crime author and detective who became acquainted, and “Nashville,” which centers on country music stars, were canceled by the network, as were newer shows “The Muppets,” which was the latest take on the Jim Henson creations; “Agent Carter,” which was a Marvel show about “Captain America” character Peggy Carter; the drama “The Family,” which centered on a missing child; and “Galavant,” a musical comedy set in medieval times. 

Meanwhile, the network decided to renew programs such as “The Catch,” a show about a detective who becomes involved with a con man, which is executive-produced by Shonda Rhimes, and “American Crime,” an anthology drama that has attracted critical acclaim.

The Ken Jeong comedy “Dr. Ken” and the sitcom “The Real O’Neals” were also renewed. 

Broadcast networks continue to attempt to adapt to the changing TV business, in which cable networks like HBO and Showtime and streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon continue to be major players. More seem to spring up every day, with relative newbies like Hulu also proving themselves a presence on the TV landscape.

So what led to these ABC decisions? As one might surmise, there weren't a lot of viewers (or what counts as a lot in the TV business). “It came down to what's been plaguing so many shows these days: Low ratings,” Katie Roberts of Moviefone wrote of the cancellation of “Galavant,” “Agent Carter,” “Muppets,” and “Family.”

The current status of the network also most likely accounts for the slew of shows that have now ended. Tony Maglio of The Wrap notes that ABC is in last place for viewers from 18-49, the age bracket much valued by advertisers. 

“[It]’s looking to make a big move,” Mr. Maglio writes. ABC may be thinking its new content could be big hits.

And the renewal of the program “American Crime” showed the network will stand by critically well-received shows.

“With the renewal of [John] Ridley’s ‘American Crime,’ the network is indicating that they will continue to support acclaimed material from creators with strong point of view even if it is not very commercial (winning Emmys for the network does not hurt either),” Deadline writer Nellie Andreeva writes.

“Crime” actress Regina King won the Emmy Award for best supporting actress in a limited series or movie for her work on the show, and the program was nominated for several other prizes, including best limited series, best writing for a limited series, best lead actor in a limited series or movie (Timothy Hutton), best lead actress in a limited series or movie (Felicity Huffman), and best supporting actor in a limited series or movie (Richard Cabral).

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.