Starz cancels Kelsey Grammer’s ‘Boss’

“Boss” is out of a job.

Starz announced today that it would not be ordering a third season of the drama starring Kelsey Grammer as the corrupt, ailing mayor of Chicago.

In a statement the pay cable channel said, “After much deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to not proceed with ‘Boss.’  We remain proud of this award-winning show, its exceptional cast and writers, and are grateful to Kelsey Grammer, Farhad Safinia and our partners at Lionsgate TV.”

“Boss” was the first major new project of the Chris Albrecht era at Starz, and the hope was that it would put the channel into the Emmy discussion along with AMC, Showtime and Albrecht’s old home at HBO. But even perennial Emmy favorite Grammer couldn’t get nominated after the first season, despite a mesmerizing dramatic performance that may have stunned many “Frasier” fans. And the ratings were so bad that we may not have gotten a second season if Albrecht hadn’t chosen to order one before the first even debuted.

I liked Grammer’s performance a lot, but as I wrote at the start of this second and final season, I found “Boss” a show that was easier to admire than enjoy. And though I meant to finish out the second season (I only saw the first four episodes of it), the screeners kept piling up and I kept putting other things on ahead of it.

I’d like to see Grammer get another dramatic showcase like this, and I’m happy whenever a network tries to play the same game as HBO, but I’ll ultimately miss the idea of “Boss” more than the show itself.