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Rebel isn’t done fighting.
Amazon-backed IMDb TV has landed free streaming rights to the first season of former ABC drama Rebel, the Erin Brockovich-inspired series created by Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff. The series began streaming on the ad-supported platform July 15.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that should the Katey Sagal starrer perform well on IMDb TV, the platform could greenlight a second season. The setup is similar to another canceled ABC series, For Life. IMDb TV picked up the first two seasons of the legal drama two weeks ago, with a potential third season also hinging on how the show performs.
Rebel was among the most surprising cancellations to come in May at the broadcast networks. The series hailed from the studio’s most important producer, as Vernoff oversees both Grey’s Anatomy and its spinoff, Station 19. The series, a co-production between Sony TV and ABC Signature, received a massive marketing push and a prime post-Grey’s time slot that gave Vernoff an entire night of programming on Thursdays.
ABC canceled the series after only five episodes had aired. Rebel was Vernoff’s first script to get a series pickup after an eye-popping 13 attempts. Sources note the decision was a difficult one and was based on the show’s lackluster linear and digital ratings performance (3.2 million total viewers and a 0.43 in the adults 18-49 demo, off slightly from the since renewed A Million Little Things). Vernoff recently inked a rich new overall deal with Disney’s ABC Signature, for whom she’ll continue to develop and oversee both Grey’s and Station 19.
The cancellation came after a month of episodes, meaning execs had time to look at 30-day DVR and streaming returns for the pilot and little else. “You give them three shows during a pandemic, they give you five episodes. Cool cool. Cool,” Vernoff wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
Vernoff and her Trip the Light producing partner and husband Alexandre Schmitt exec produced the series alongside John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment (The Blacklist). John Corbett, Andy Garcia, James Lesure and Tamala Jones co-starred in the series.
IMDb TV launched in January 2019 and has built an impressive roster of library content as it looks to compete with similar free and ad-supported streaming platforms. The service is also home to original scripted series including the Leverage update, a spinoff of Amazon’s Bosch, Alex Rider and such newly ordered series as Clea DuVall’s Tegan and Sara-inspired entry High School and Dick Wolf’s On Call.
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