5:45pm PT by Rick Porter
'Reef Break' Canceled After Single Season on ABC
ABC is breaking ties with summer series Reef Break.
The network has canceled the drama starring Poppy Montgomery after a single season. The show was one of two scripted series to air on ABC during the summer; the other, Grand Hotel, was also canceled after a single season.
Reef Break, based on an idea from Montgomery, starred the Without a Trace and Unforgettable alum as a former thief turned fixer for the government of an island paradise in the Pacific. Ray Stevenson, Desmond Chiam, Melissa Bonne and Tamala Shelton rounded out the regular cast. Ken Sanzel (Numb3rs) was the showrunner, and Montgomery was an executive producer.
Reef Break received a straight-to-series order in August 2018 and was produced by ABC Studios and its international arm along with French broadcaster M6, which aired the series in France. That made it a fairly low-cost proposition for ABC, but the show's ratings were soft. It averaged just under 2 million viewers for initial airings and only got modest lifts from delayed viewing, averaging 2.85 million after three days. The show also managed just a 0.4 rating after three days in the key ad demographic of adults 18-49.
The future of ABC Studios International is also in flux after managing director Keli Lee and several London-based staffers were let go last week. Parent company Disney is reassessing the international business in the wake of its acquisition of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets earlier this year.
ABC's summer unscripted slate, meanwhile, will return largely intact in 2020. The network has renewed all six of its retro game shows, including Celebrity Family Feud, Card Sharks and Press Your Luck, and the mini-golf competition Holey Moley. The fate of the cooking competition Family Food Fight has yet to be determined.