'Sweet/Vicious' Canceled at MTV

MTV's Sweet Vicious -Publicity- H 2017
Courtesy of MTV

It's the end of the road for MTV's critical darling Sweet/Vicious.

"MTV has decided to not move forward with a second season of Sweet/Vicious. We are extremely proud of this critically acclaimed series and are deeply disappointed such an impactful show did not find a larger audience," said an MTV spokesperson in a statement. "Sweet/Vicious was a show we loved from the start, with empowering female leads and a message we believe in. We are grateful the series started a much needed dialogue around sexual assault, and thank the talented Jennifer Robinson, Amanda Lasher, Stacey Sher and the stellar cast, writers and producers for creating such a timely and thought provoking series."

Writer and executive producer Robinson announced the freshman drama's demise via a lengthy and heartfelt post on social media Friday. "To say I am devastated would be the understatement of the year," she wrote.

The series was a critical favorite for its premise about two college students who have a secret life as vigilantes targeting sexual assailants. Despite great reviews and strong word-of-mouth buzz, the drama could not break through and wrapped its run Jan. 24 with just 239,000 total viewers. With three days of viewing, the series wrapped up with only 310,000 total viewers and an average of 0.16 among MTV's core adults 18-34 demographic. The series, which was picked up under a previous executive team at Viacom-owned MTV, was on the bubble with the cabler's new president Chris McCarthy.

"Sweet/Vicious is a story we think is incredibly important and very timely and we're trying to figure out what the right way to relaunch that and figure out what the next iteration of that is. No decision has been made yet but we love the show and are trying to figure that out," McCarthy told THR in February when he opted to ax freshman comedies Mary + Jane and Loosely Exactly Nicole.

THR TV critic Daniel Fienberg called Sweet/Vicious the "best show you've never heard of," and praised its first season. "Sweet/Vicious is empowering as hell, but it's not as one-dimensional as a 'Girls can kick butt too' message," he wrote.

The decision to cancel Sweet/Vicious leaves MTV barely in the scripted space. The cabler wrapped Teen Wolf — its first scripted outing — earlier this year and has the previously announced second season of The Shannara Chronicles awaiting a premiere date. That is joined by its shortened third season of Scream, which will return with a new cast, premise, location, showrunner and producing team ahead of a complete reboot. Insiders stress the Sweet/Vicious cancellation does not signal that MTV is exiting the scripted business.

The news comes a day after MTV sibling VH1 — also overseen by McCarthy — saw its two scripted dramas (Hit the Floor and The Breaks) move to fellow sibling BET for additional seasons. That leaves the forthcoming freshman season of Daytime Divas as VH1's only scripted series.

Meanwhile, star Eliza Bennett offered thanks to the show's dedicated and vocal base with a post of her own: