ABC cancels ‘Cristela,’ ‘Forever’ and ‘Resurrection’

There was plenty of great news for fans of ABC dramas and comedies on Thursday (May 7) night as the network picked up new seasons for 10 dramas and six comedies. And ABC also ordered six new dramas and three new comedies.

But whenever there's good news, there's got to be bad news, something about The Law of Conservation of Mass, TV Style. So if the number of primetime hours isn't changing, even if networks are going to try to keep more and more original programming, that still means the axe must fall somewhere.

In this case, there was bad news for “Forever,” “Cristela” and “Resurrection. [Yes, two of those titles have become ironic, or at least fodder for lazy headline writers.] The network previously confirmed that “Revenge” was also being canceled. There was also bad news for “The Taste,” but somehow I suspect there will be less garment rending over that one.

Actually, there's unlikely to be any garment rending over “Resurrection.” The back-from-the-dead drama had a huge premiere last spring and almost single-handedly saved ABC from a dismal second half of the season. This year, though, interest basically vanished. “Resurrection” averaged only 4.6 million million viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 in 13 airings on Sunday at 9 p.m., but the writing was on the wall once “Secrets and Lies” premiered in the spring and dramatically improved the time period averages. “Secrets and Lies” was an easy renewal for ABC, but “Resurrection” is now done. 

Saving a blighted time slot wasn't enough to earn a second season for “Forever,” though. Airing in a Tuesday 10 p.m. hour that has been a gaping hole devouring dramas at a prodigious rate, “Forever” anchored that time period for a full season. While its live ratings weren't impressive — 4.8 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating and dropping — “Forever” got a healthy bump in Live+3 and Live+7. With ABC renewing bubble dramas like “American Crime” and “Marvel's Agent Carter,” though, there just wasn't room.

Finally, “Cristela” didn't have any strong numbers to point to, but it was a low-but-steady force on Fridays and recent weeks have seen vocal pockets of critical support emerge. Again, though, ABC went with other bubble comedies, in this case “Galavant.”

Only one ABC series remains in limbo, Tim Allen's Friday success “Last Man Standing,” which was also a late renewal last year, so it would be wrong to write it off.

ABC will unveil its full schedule on Tuesday, May 12.

BubbleWatch 2015 Gallery Updated With All The Announced Renewals & Cancellations.