November 19, 2013 3:57pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
USA Cancels 'Necessary Roughness'
USA Network has canceled Necessary Roughness.
“We are proud of this show and its writers, which had a unique ability to address topical subjects before they unfolded in real life on the sports pages," the network said in a statement. "We want to thank [series creators] Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro, the incredible cast led by Golden Globe nominee Callie Thorne and our partners at Sony Television.”
The series regularly featured timely stories including professional athletes coming out -- inspired by basketball player Jason Collins' story. He became the first active player in one of the four major American professional sports leagues to announce that he was gay. This past season, the series tackled doping in pro sports and Necessary Roughness' storyline paralleled athletes battling the same demons.
The series, which earned Thorne a Golden Globe nomination in 2011, averaged 4 million total viewers. Necessary Roughness got off to a promising start during summer 2011, but the show never came close to matching its freshman ratings. Its third and final season performed relatively close to the second season, opening to 2.6 million viewers and wrapping in August to 2.36 million. In live-plus-same day showings, the series generally pulled a 0.6 rating with adults 18-49.
Thorne took to Twitter on Tuesday to thank fans for three years of support. "Bidding farewell to Necessary Roughness and the three years I was blessed to have. This show was bound together with the blood, sweat, laughter and tears of an outstanding group of creators, producers, directors, designers, actors, an unparalleled crew, tried and true fans," she wrote in a string of tweets. "Any and all of whom I would be lucky to call a friend. I will miss all of you terribly. And as my old pal Dr. Seuss likes to say: Don't cry because it's over -- smile because it happened. #Danicoforever"
The news comes as USA has been bulking up on originals, most recently picking up a six-episode limited series from Tim Kring and Gideon Raff. The network also has original dramas Covert Affairs, Graceland, Psych, Royal Pains, Suits and White Collar set for 2014, in addition to its first two comedies -- Playing House and Sirens. After saying farewell to Burn Notice this year, the cable network has a heavy slate of dramas in the works, including Matt Nix's follow-up, Complications, as well as Rush, The Novice, Divide & Conquer and Horizon.