Networks Have Tricked Us Into Appreciating Show Cancellations


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The rise of the Internet played out unfavourably for TV networks. Every time a show was cancelled, there were millions of people out there ready to complain about their favorite show being shelved and they were letting the networks know it. If you think about it, even unpopular shows gather nearly a million views every week.

Throughout many years of experience on the internet I’ve noticed some ways networks are trying to mitigate the cancellation hustle. Abrupt cancellation seemed to work fine until recently, but nowadays networks have come up with a new plan involving ‘ending’ a series instead of blunt cancellation.

What You Didn’t Know About ‘Ending A Show’

A myriad of television people came to adopt this technique by renewing and cancelling a show all together. This exact thing happened with Criminal Minds.

Being cancelled in January 2019 Criminal Minds went on for another two seasons, so it all looked like a perfectly smooth ending. The way they managed it was shooting Season 14 and Season 15 at the same time, which worked out seamless and ready to go. 

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As ingenious as it actually is, we shouldn’t overpraise it due to its underlying reasons. The mistake many people make is they start to defend the cancellation calling it an ending, which in fact it’s not.

It IS actually cancelled. What the network did was come up with a smart way out of it to avoid your wrath and give you plenty of time to say goodbye to characters rather than stepping on the brake at high speed.

Some of these seasons are short or even released as wrap-up movies, which require less time and effort than a regular season. At the end of the day, it works out well for everyone, so it is definitely a better way. 

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It leaves both fans and creators happy with the former having proper time to get used to the new state of affairs and the latter to find new jobs in a hassle free manner. 

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What bothers me is people commenting and defending the cancellation of their favorite show is their disrupted logic. How can the ending be justified with the fact they give you another 20 something more episodes to watch whereas in fact the show is being cancelled for multiple mundane reasons like low ratings or higher costs?

For example, we still have Bosch because it is cheap to make and is wildly popular with the fans. Of course, some shows like The Big Bang Theory can get their ending initiated by the lead cast member but let’s be honest there are far more ‘Bosch’s’ than there are ‘The Big Bang Theory’s’.    

Why They Still Avoid Abrupt Cancellations

The most recent straight up cancellations like Ray Donovan or The OA caused a lot of pain for all involved including creators and actors being out of jobs unexpectedly as well as fans left struck and hurt. 

The last thing networks want is being exposed to anger and displeasure on the internet. Apart from just making people unhappy this damages the network’s brand. 

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However, rushing an “ending” can also lead to disaster as with what happened with the final two seasons of Game of Thrones. Despite a huge budget, popularity, support of most the cast and crew, HBO allowed the showrunners to wind up the series. We all know the horrific results.

So, it’s no brainer television makers have been going down the ‘ending’ path lately. It’s just more humane and less damaging. Just don’t think networks do it because the only thing they’re worried about is you. 


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