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The Disney-owned younger-skewing cable network has opted to cancel the Bella Thorne starrer from Pretty Little Liars showrunner I. Marlene King after two seasons. The show’s May 30 season-ender now serves as the series finale.
“We are proud to have had the opportunity to air Famous in Love. After many discussions we have made the difficult decision not to renew the show for a third season,” Freeform said in a statement. “We want to thank our colleagues at Warner Horizon and our incredible producers, writers, cast and crew, especially Marlene King, for their creativity, hard work and dedication.”
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Freeform initially wanted to do a third season of the expensive series from producers Warner Horizon Scripted Television but asked streaming partner Hulu — which has SVOD rights to the drama — for a larger contribution. Sources say Hulu passed on contributing additional funding to save Famous in Love, which saw its same-day viewership sink. Season two averaged 254,000 total viewers, down from 330,000 in its freshman run.
Sources also say news of the cancellation was considered a relief for many members of the production. Star Thorne and showrunner King are said to have clashed on multiple occasions, with the actress exhibiting what sources described as “diva-like behavior” on set. Sources note Thorne actively wanted off of Famous in Love, with the actress and social media star having refused to participate in Freeform-organized live-tweets during its second season.
King, meanwhile, continues to be Freeform’s go-to showrunner after having delivered the cabler’s signature hit in Pretty Little Liars. Freeform this year picked up spinoff Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, which will continue its relationship with King for the eighth straight year (including PLL spinoff Ravenswood).
Freeform’s current scripted roster includes critical hits Grown-ish and The Bold Type, in addition to Cloak and Dagger, The Fosters spinoff Good Trouble, Alone Together, Siren and Kenya Barris’ upcoming Besties.
The decision to cancel Famous in Love comes weeks after Freeform was forced to cancel Shadowhunters after producer Constantin Film lost its output deal with Netflix that ultimately helped finance the pricey genre drama. Without Netflix’s financial backing, Constantin had sought a greater cash infusion from Freeform, which sources say was unable to keep the series going. Shadowhunters will conclude next spring with the second half of its third season and an additional two-hour series finale for a total of 12 episodes.
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