3:04pm PT by Lesley Goldberg, Michael O'Connell
CBS Cancels Vince Gilligan's 'Battle Creek,' 'Stalker'
CBS won't be going back to Battle Creek. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the drama has been canceled after just one season. Freshman comedy The McCarthys, long considered finished, has also been formally canceled, as has rookie drama Stalker.
Despite the pedigree of creator Vince Gilligan, the broadcast follow-up to Breaking Bad (which also counted co-creator David Shore (House) as showrunner) was more or less dead-on-arrival with a just a 1.0 rating in the key demo in its inaugural live-plus-same day showing.
It continued to slip. Time-shifting did little for the Sony Pictures Television drama, which nears the end of its initial (and apparently only) order with just a 1.2 with adults 18-49. CBS did not immediately respond to request for comment, but sources tell THR that the show is done.
Battle Creek was based off of a 12-year-old pitch to the network that gained heat with Gilligan's profile, as the final season of Breaking Bad broke ratings records on AMC.
In related news, Shore's pilot, co-created by Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, is a no go for next season. The network passed on Sneaky Pete, which starred Margo Martindale.
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As for The McCarthys, no one can say CBS didn't give it a great shot. The multicam comedy about a loud, sports-loving family Boston family was retooled after the original pilot failed to get a series order in 2013. Although the Laurie Metcalf and Jack McGee comedy failed to get a full season, the network ordered two additional episodes in December. The series, which averaged a 1.9 rating in the demo, went off the air in favor of Big Bang Theory repeats in February.
Stalker, meanwhile, was the latest drama for uber-producer Kevin Williamson. Starring Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q and produced by Warner Bros. Television, Stalker went into the season with very little goodwill. Critics hung it out to dry for its violence and victimization of women, and viewers never sampled it in droves. It was hardly a flop, averaging a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49, but it never seemed like a priority for the network. It earned a confusing 20-episode freshman season, not a traditional abbreviation or a full 22, and it disappeared from the schedule for months for CSI: Cyber. When it moved to Monday night's Scorpion hour, for what basically amounted to a burn-off, the earlier time slot did nothing to boost its ratings. With the cancellation, Williamson goes from three shows to one — The CW's The Vampire Diaries, which has been run by Julie Plec and Caroline Dries for the past few seasons — after Fox canceled The Following.
Keep up with all the renewals, cancellations and new series orders with THR's handy Scorecard.