Ahead of next week’s upfronts, network television began pulling the plug on a number of television series yesterday in what is an annual tradition in May. Probably the biggest blow was ABC’s cancelation of Speechless after three seasons. The critically beloved family sitcom featuring the biggest post-The Walking Dead child star was a decent performer for the network on Fridays, but it’s nevertheless being shipped to the television graveyard, although it will be shopped around. The good news is, the last season was written almost as if it were the final season, so the storyline ended in a good place.
ABC also cancelled the fantastic The Kids Are Alright starring The Walking Dead‘s Michael Cudlitz, the delightful Splitting Up Together starring The Office’s Jenna Fischer, For the People and the Marcia Clark legal drama, The Fix.
Meanwhile, over on Fox, Lethal Weapon was axed after three seasons. That show has had a lot of behind-the-scenes drama after Clayne Crawford was fired and subsequently replaced by Seann William Scott, but ratings were soft for the television reboot. Fox also cancelled The Passage despite decent ratings for the Mark-Paul Gosselaar vampire thriller. Star and Cool Kids also join previously canceled Fox series The Gifted and Rel.
CBS sent several shows packing, as well, including Murphy Brown, Fam, Happy Together and Life in Pieces, the latter after four seasons. Meanwhile, over on NBC, only one show has been axed, so far: I Feel Bad, which is not much of a surprise considering it wasn’t picked up for the back half of its season one order.
Off-network, TBS also canceled Angie Tribeca yesterday.
On the bright side, ABC also renewed four series that were question marks going into yesterday, The Rookie, Fresh Off the Boat, Bless This Mess, and American Housewife.