What are the factors that go into a TV show getting cancelled mid-season? — TV & Entertainment Forum
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What are the factors that go into a TV show getting cancelled mid-season?

It seems that recently I have just started watching a new show, and before I can even decide if I really like it, it gets cancelled by the network after only 2 or 3 episodes!  Why does this happen?

Asked by The Doctor Is In on Mar 12, 2013

1 Answers

William J. Felchner   L5: Authority (Ambassador: L1)   851 answers   +337 votes
This answer has 0 votes  by

The business model for television has not changed much since the advent of serious television programming in the late 1940s. This observation comes from industry insider Anthony Letizia via alterna-TV.com:

"The industry is inevitably driven by ratings and shows that do not pull in the necessary amount of weekly viewers often find the plug pulled on production in a relatively short period of time. Others struggle along in the Neilsens only to not be renewed at the end of the season. Fan driven campaigns to save such shows, meanwhile, ultimately fail as the verdict by network executives, acting as both judge and jury, remains in tact with only a few notable exceptions."

Star Trek (1966-69) is perhaps the most famous TV show in history to be saved from cancellation by fan intervention, but such campaigns today, as noted above, inevitably fail if the A.C. Nielsen Ratings are not up to speed. 

Here's a good book on the boob tube medium: The Television History Book edited by Michele Hilmes and Jason Jacobs, which features expert commentary by media scholars. 

Posted on Mar 12, 2013

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