Friday, May 9, 2014

ABC Renews 'Nashville'; Cancels 'Trophy Wife,' 'Mixology,' 'The Neighbors,' 'Suburgatory' & 'Super Fun Night'

Stars of three of ABC's bubble comedies - Trophy Wife, Mixology and The Neighbors - have gone to Twitter to announce that their series have been canceled. ABC has yet to confirm the news but is expected to shortly. Cancellations have been confirmed for comedies Suburgatory and Super Fun Night.

UPDATE - ABC has renewed musical drama Nashville for a third season.

The cancellation that hurts the most is, of course, Trophy Wife - which was a great family comedy that was severely mistreated by ABC. Tonally, it felt tailor-made to be the perfect companion series to Modern Family. The time slot after the Emmy winning comedy has plagued the network for years. Everything they put there either didn't match tonally (Cougar Town, Happy Endings) or was just bad (How to Live With Your Parents, Mixology). This year ABC developed two great family comedies - The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife - that would have made great additions to the Wednesday comedy block. Instead they opted to put them on Tuesday night where they could ride on the coattails of the behemoth that is Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Unfortunately for ABC, the Marvel drama wasn't the magical cure to all of ABC's Tuesday problems. It struggled and, in turn, The Goldbergs and Trophy Wife struggled. The 80s-set comedy has already been renewed - and may actually move to Wednesdays in the fall. But Trophy Wife simply was never given the chance to grow. The network stuck it there and then stopped thinking about it. They expected the show to get viewers to come instead of helping them find any kind of success. Tuesday night wasn't working and they easily could have shifted the show to the post-Modern Family slot at midseason. Instead that slot went to the wretched Mixology - and the trend continued of Modern Family being unable to lift up the show airing after it. 

So now, Trophy Wife and Mixology are both gone and ABC will probably try the same tactics with its new comedy series it just picked up next season. Just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks is no why to run a broadcast network.

The cancellation of The Neighbors was to be expected as it dropped off severely in its move to Friday nights for its second season. The odds became even bleaker once the network picked up showrunner Dan Fogelman's comedy pilot Galavant to series yesterday.

The writing has been on the wall for Super Fun Night's cancellation ever since it ended its run back in February.

Suburgatory had been a pretty reliable veteran performer for ABC. It rejoined the Wednesday comedy lineup this year at midseason and held a respectable amount of lead-in The Middle's (already renewed) audience. Like The Neighbors, the show's odds went down when the network picked up creator Emily Kapnek's new comedy pilot Selfie to series yesterday.

Fortunately though, the day wasn't completely filled with bad news as ABC handed out a third season renewal to country music drama Nashville. Yes, the drama is down in its second season. But it has done better than most of the network's dismal new dramas this season. It's a solid performer when factoring in the DVR numbers and it generates more revenue from the music it creates. For awhile today, it felt like the show could go either way - with the studio and the network going back-and-forth over several budgetary issues. It seems a deal has been made that pleased both sides - the details of which (including the episode count for the third season) weren't immediately released.

The only veteran series left at ABC waiting on news of a renewal or cancellation is Last Man Standing. Reportedly the series' production company is in deep negotiation talks with ABC over licensing fees.