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NBC’s miserable freshman season has delivered its last cancellation.
The network on Thursday axed rookie family drama Council of Dads. The family drama, from Universal Television and showrunners Tony Phelan and Joan Rater (Grey’s Anatomy) and exec producer Jerry Bruckheimer, was the last of NBC’s freshman class to have its fate determined by the network. Of the seven new series that NBC ordered for the recently concluded 2019-20 broadcast season, only one — Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist — is returning for a second season.
Council of Dads was also NBC’s latest attempt to re-create the success of its breakout family drama This Is Us. Last season, NBC and Universal TV launched family drama The Village in an attempt to find a similarly themed scripted series to launch out of creator Dan Fogelman’s Disney-owned hit. Like Council of Dads, The Village lasted only one season after it inherited This Is Us’ time slot after the series wrapped its 18-episode season.
Sarah Wayne Callies, Clive Standen and J. August Richards starred in the series, which launched March 24 out of This Is Us’ season finale. Richards, who cites his experience on Council of Dads for helping him to come out, announced the show’s cancellation in a post timed to the now series finale on his verified Instagram page.
The decision to cancel Council of Dads comes as little surprise. The series was not part of the network’s optimistic “fall” schedule of new and returning series, with two completed pilots already in contention for midseason 2020 and five more likely to be filmed when it’s deemed safe in the fall. The network has already picked up three new comedies and a drama for the 2020-21 season, whenever that starts.
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