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Franklin & Bash will not live to see a new leader.
TNT announced Tuesday it would be calling it quits on the legal dramedy just a week after Kevin Reilly was named president of the cable network and its sibling TBS. The Sony-produced series, which stars Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as young, unconventional attorneys, wrapped its fourth and now final season in late October.
Franklin & Bash had benefited from the young-skewing nature of its viewership in the past, but the series’ audience had declined to an average of 1.2 million viewers total this last season. And had it moved forward, it would have had to do so without the day-to-day leadership of co-creator Kevin Falls, who moved his deal from Sony to 20th Century Fox Television this past summer.
Through Falls’ overall pact at 20th, the veteran showrunner quickly sold Castlebar, a drama pitch that’s been described as a high-stakes workplace drama about a 30-something wunderkind who returns to his alma mater and convinces the trustees to hire him as the university’s president. Falls is expected to write and executive produce the project, which sold as a script plus penalty to Fox.
News of Franklin‘s demise comes as Reilly continues his predecessor Michael Wright‘s push for the kind of edgier, more serialized fare that has made AMC and FX programming culturally relevant in a way that TNT’s entries have struggled to achieve. In a bid to drive conversation and cache, Turner has publicly committed to doubling its original programming budget to $1 billion by 2018. Upon taking the gig earlier this month, Reilly noted in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “You need to be really resonant in this day and age, and you’ve got to carve out your spot in the cultural landscape because there’s a lot of stuff out there.”
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