Another one bites the dust.
In a TV season in which broadcast networks have expressed patience and an unwillingness to cancel, ABC has done the latter. The Disney-owned network has canceled Kevin Williamson’s time travel drama Time After Time after five low-rated episodes.
Based on the novel Time After Time, written by Karl Alexander, the Warner Bros. Television drama used the 1979 novel and movie as a starting point to chronicle the epic adventures of young H.G. Wells (Freddie Stroma, UnREAL) and his time machine. Josh Bowman (Revenge) co-starred.
The series debuted to dismal reviews and ratings — a 0.6 among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic — and its fifth and final episode scored a barely-there 0.4. The series will be replaced by unscripted entry Match Game on Sundays at 9 p.m. following Once Upon a Time. There are no current plans to air the remaining produced episodes.
Time After Time marks only the second broadcast cancellation of the season. CBS also axed Katherine Heigl drama Doubt after two low-rated episodes. Those midseason dramas are thus far the only rookie shows to be canceled this season as the ratings barometer for success becomes invisible. The past two broadcast seasons have seen networks take their time when it comes to the hook. The new way of life has become either not granting additional episodes or “trimming” the initial order and letting non-starters quietly disappear from the schedule following their runs.
To that end, ABC reduced the order on Notorious and Conviction; CBS did the same with Pure Genius; and The CW, for the first time in years, did not grant a back-order to either of its two fall freshmen No Tomorrow and Frequency.
Time After Time was the only one of three pilots Williamson had in the works last season.