Rebel, American Housewife, & more canceled at ABC

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Rebel, American Housewife, For Life, Mixed-ish, call your mother, abc, canceled

It's the end of the line for ABC's remaining shows that were heavily on the bubble for next season. The network has decided to cancel Rebel, American Housewife, Mixed-ish, For Life, and Call Your Mother. Despite being on the bubble, the decision to cancel some of these shows is a bit surprising for various reasons, and at least of them is being shopped to other networks and platforms for a last-minute save.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the cancellations is Rebel, the Erin Brokovich-inspired drama was that was led by Katey Sagal and hailed from the network's most important producer, Krista Vernoff. The drama was Vernoff's first script to get a series pickup after 13 attempts but Vernoff also controls their Thursday primetime lineup with Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 continuing to pull in solid numbers. Some thought this would be enough to get Rebel a second season, despite the show's lackluster linear ratings and poor digital ratings performance. ABC is said to have struggled with the decision to cancel the show, which is only five episodes in of its eight-episode order, but it seems they believe the show wouldn't be able to recover from its soft ratings performance. Sagal took to her Instagram page to denounce ABC a bit for their decision and made a point to say that shows need time to grow before getting the ax. Vernoff also threw a little shade ABC's way in her own Twitter post that has since been deleted. The post linked to a "Deadline" story about the cancellation that speculated that the series’ pedigree would help put the legal drama towards a sophomore season. Vernoff responded to the story by saying "You’d think, wouldn’t you? You give them three shows during a pandemic, they give you five episodes. Cool cool. Cool." You can check out Sagal's Instagram post below.


A post shared by Katey Sagal (@kateysagal)

In addition to Sagal, Rebel also starred John Corbett, Lex Scott Davis, Tamala Jones, James Lesure, Kevin Zegers, Sam Palladio, Ariela Barer, and Andy Garcia. The show is expected to run the remainder of its original episodes that will get the show through June 3, 2021.

American Housewife also seemed like a safe bet to return on paper since the show, during its five-season run, has been a solid utility player for the network as it has been moved to various nights and timeslots with very few ratings erosion. The comedy did see a behind-the-scenes shakeup after co-star Carly Huges left the series, citing allegations of a toxic workplace and discrimination. Co-star Ali Wong also booked a lead role on an Amazon series which also made American Housewife's fate more apparent. American Housewife chronicled the daily life of Katie Otto (Katy Mixon), a wife and mother who tries to maintain her sense of self and family while dealing with the wealthy, pretentious, arrogant housewives and their privileged children in her new hometown of Westport, Connecticut. The series also stars Diedrich Bader, Meg Donnelly, Daniel DiMaggio, Julia Butters, and Ali Wong.

Even though Black-ish earned a renewal for an eighth and final season, its spinoff Mixed-ish, wasn't so lucky. Despite being well-liked at the network and scoring with critics, the show was among ABC's least-watched originals which is what sealed its fate. Creator Kenya Barris is still in league with ABC with the final season of Black-ish, its Freeform spinoff Grown-ish, and Old-ish, which is still in development at the network. Mixed-ish was a prequel spinoff of Black-ish that chronicles Rainbow Johnson's (Tracee Ellis Ross) childhood years as she recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the 1980s. The series also stars Arica Himmel, Tika Sumpter, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gary Cole, Christina Anthony, and Ethan William Childress.

For Life, which last season saw its season two renewal come down the wire, wasn't so lucky heading into season three. The legal drama, produced by Sony Pictures TV, is shopping the series to other buyers including Hulu, where the series has performed pretty well. For Life, despite its topical subject matter, is ABC's lowest-rated scripted series of the current season in Live+Same Day. Delayed viewing has been solid and reportedly the digital viewing of the show on Hulu has brought new African American audiences to the streaming platform. There is a shot that Hulu is the savior here but only time will tell. For Life is inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr. who was wrongfully convicted as a drug kingpin but got his conviction overturned while in prison because he became a licensed lawyer to gain the knowledge necessary to get out of prison. In the series, Nicholas Pinnock plays Aaron Wallace, a man who becomes a lawyer litigating cases for other inmates while fighting to overturn his own life sentence for a crime he didn't commit. The series also stars Joy Bryant, Ty Harris, and Indira Varma.

Lastly, it's one and done for the multi-camera comedy Call Your Mother. The network has canceled the show after only one season and its star Kyra Sedgwick threw a little shade ABC's way for how the network scheduled the series via a post on her Twitter page that can be viewed below:

Sedgwick is referencing the fact that the show began to air sporadically in March after airing weekly up until that point. Shuffling the show around a lot likely cost the show some viewers. Call Your Mother was picked up to series after bypassing the pilot stage after production stalled during the pandemic. The show launched in January to 3.4 million same-day viewers but has since ranked as one of ABC's least-watched original series. The scheduling did get a bit crazy after its launch. At the start, the series aired weekly from January 13-March 3, then became more sporadic, airing every few weeks without much warning. The show returned May 12, after not airing since April 21. The now series finale will air on May 19, 2021.

Call Your Mother centered on an empty-nester mom named Jean Raines (Sedgwick), who wonders how she ended up alone while her children live their best lives thousands of miles away. She then decides her place is with her family so she reinserts herself into their lives. Her kids soon realize they might actually need her more than they thought. The series also starred Rachel Sennott, Joey Bragg, Patrick Brammall, Emma Caymares, & Austin Crute.

Are YOU sad to see some of these shows go?

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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