Katherine Heigl Starrer 'Doubt' Canceled at CBS After 2 Episodes

The midseason show co-starring Laverne Cox has been pulled from the schedule, and it's unclear when — or if — the remaining 11 episodes will air.
JoJo Whilden/CBS
'Doubt'

It's February and the Big Four finally have made their first cancellation of the 2016-17 broadcast season.

CBS has canceled legal drama Doubt, starring Katherine Heigl and Laverne Cox, after only two low-rated episodes, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The series, which was redeveloped and largely recast from last pilot season, will be replaced by a repeat of Bull in Doubt's Wednesday at 10 p.m. slot on March 1. Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders will take over the Wednesday at 10 p.m. slot starting March 8.

Production on all 13 episodes of the drama from former Grey's Anatomy executive producers Tony and Joan Phelan wrapped before the holidays. It's unclear when — or if — the 11 remaining episodes will air. Insiders stress it could return, but it remains unscheduled for the time being.

The series opened to poor reviews — THR's Daniel Fienberg wrote, "No doubt the cast deserves better" in the "weak" legal drama — and lackluster ratings despite heavy promotion. Doubt bowed to a tepid 0.8 rating among adults 18-49, coming in last place among shows on the Big Four that night. In week two, the drama fell again, dipping to a 0.6 rating — below the series low of its time slot predecessor, Code Black (0.7 adults). Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, on the other hand, ended its first-season run with a 1.0 rating back in May. The spinoff averaged a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 and 10 million viewers with seven days of DVR in its first season on the network.

From CBS Television Studios, where married showrunners the Phelans are under an overall deal, Doubt centered on Sadie (Heigl, who replaced KaDee Strickland in the role), a smart, chic, successful defense lawyer at a boutique firm who shockingly gets romantically involved with one of her clients, who may or may not be guilty of a brutal crime. The series marked Heigl's return to broadcast television, following her short-lived NBC political drama State of Affairs. Orange Is the New Black Emmy nominee Cox co-starred in a history-making role as broadcast television's first openly trans character played by a trans actress. Dule Hill and Steven Pasquale also co-starred.

Doubt becomes the first series to be canceled outright this broadcast season. As the ratings bar becomes lower and the definition of a hit becomes blurry, broadcast networks have taken to "trimming" episode orders or letting shows run their course without offering a back-nine order. ABC's Conviction and Notorious did not score back-nine orders, nor did The CW's Frequency and No Tomorrow, among others.

Doubt is a rare miss this season for CBS, which had given full-season orders to nearly its entire fall freshman class including Bull, The Great Indoors, Kevin Can Wait, MacGyver and Man With a Plan. Only drama Pure Genius did not receive an extended order.

Here's CBS' revised schedule:  

March 1
8 p.m.: Hunted season finale
9 p.m.: Criminal Minds
10 p.m.: Bull (repeat)

March 8
8 p.m.: Survivor season premiere
10 p.m.: Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

March 15
8 p.m.: Survivor
9 p.m.: Criminal Minds
10 p.m.: Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders

Kate Stanhope contributed to this report.

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