TNT cancels ‘Men of a Certain Age’

Senior Television Writer
07.15.11 43 Comments


TNT has canceled “Men of a Certain Age,” the low-rated critical darling starring Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula as the three titular men.

“TNT has been proud to be a part of ‘Men of a Certain Age’ for two seasons,” the cable channel said in a statement. “While the show has featured great storytelling and impeccable performances, the audience simply hasn”t built to the point where we can continue the series. This was an extremely difficult decision for us. We wish Ray Romano, Mike Royce and the terrific cast and crew of ‘Men of a Certain Age’ the very best and look forward to exploring new programming possibilities in the future.”

I could tell you all the reasons why this decision makes me sad (but not surprised), but then, I already published most of those in my open letter to TNT executives, one of several such letters published by critics on Monday.(*)

(*) Note: we are not a hivemind, even if we sometimes seem like one.

As with my “Terriers” open letter in the fall, I didn’t have incredibly high hopes this would work, but if you can’t tilt and windmills and fight for what’s great, what’s the point of having this job? The ratings weren’t good, and as I said on Monday, it’s something of a miracle a show this subtle got on TV at all, let alone lasted two seasons on a network otherwise known for easily-digestible procedurals. (TNT’s slogan is “We Know Drama,” but they don’t mean the kind of drama Royce, Romano and company were making, unfortunately.)

John Updike (a man who told many a story of quiet desperation about men of a certain age) once said (in writing about Ted Williams’ final game) that gods don’t answer letters. Sometimes, neither do TV executives.

Hoping to have comment from Royce and/or Romano sometime later this evening; I’ll update the post if/when that happens.

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