For every new TV show that is announced, more than one will have its life cut short, felled by the dreaded network axe.
And naturally, it’s something that the people involved in those shows feel extremely strongly about.
From Netflix shake-ups to external scandal, here’s what 13 actors had to say when their own shows were dumped.
1. Tom Ellis – Lucifer
Before Netflix picked up Lucifer, it had enjoyed three very successful seasons on Fox, amassing a legion of loyal fans along the way.
But the only reason that the Netflix takeover happened was because Fox had decided to axe the fantasy police drama back in May in a bid to shake up their 2018-19 season.
Lucifer writer Joe Henderson was not a happy bunny, venting his anger on Twitter.
“We created a season finale with a huge cliffhanger so that there was no way Fox could cancel us,” he wrote.
“Instead, we’re going to frustrate the hell out of you fans. I’m so sorry for that. #Lucifer”
And series star Tom Ellis, who plays Lucifer Morningstar, The Lord of Hell, wasn’t having any of it either.
“The thing that none of us expected was the cancellation,” he said at MCM Comic Con.
“So when we were filming we were like, ‘Oh they’re gonna love this, I wonder what’s going to happen next season.'”
Ellis also told TVLine just how devastated he was about the decision: “I couldn’t have been in a higher place when I got the news.
“I had finished a fan convention in Rome, and I was my way back to the hotel in a mini-bus with my mates from the Supernatural cast, when I got a call from [co-showrunner] Joe [Henderson].
“I had just left a room full of love, of adulating fans, when he said the show was over. I was like, ‘What?’
“Honestly, I was a bit shocked. I went into some weird shock. I just wasn’t expecting it, it really pulled the rug.
“And then it really went through me, how much I cared about the show, and I was really, really sad. I couldn’t quite believe it.”
But Netflix stepped up to save the day following a #SaveLucifer campaign run by the fans, production beginning in August and expected to wrap up in December.
Here’s everything else we know about the upcoming fourth season.
2. Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory
After 12 extremely successful seasons, CBS has decided not to renew The Big Bang Theory, and the current 12th season will be the last, with the final episode airing in May 2019.
CBS Entertainment President Kelly Kahl had previously suggested that a 13th season could get the thumbs up, but that would feel slightly awkward after all of the fanfare following the announcement.
The cast were all naturally extremely emotional. Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny, shared a post on Instagram in which she said: “This ride has been a dream come true and as life-changing as it gets. No matter when it was going to end, my heart would have always been broken in two.
“Drowning in tears, we promise to bring you the best season yet. To the fans, our crew, families, Chuck Lorre, Warner Brothers , CBS, and everyone who has supported us for so many years, thank you. We are goin out with a bang.”
Kunal Nayyar, who played Rajesh, was equally as emotional.
“There are no words in any language that can describe what my heart wants to say,” he said on Instagram.
“The love that I feel for all of you is boundless. Without you the fans there would be no us.”
But Mayim Bialik aka Sheldon’s wife, Amy Farrah Fowler, was not quite as thrilled.
“Am I happy? Of course not. This has been my job since Melissa Rauch and I joined the cast as regulars in season four,” she wrote on her personal website.
“I love my job. I love my castmates, and I feel such appreciation for our incredible crew, our brave writers, our entire staff, and our amazing fans. So many people are a part of our Big Bang family.”
The 42-year-old also made a very good point about how the show’s absence leaves her financially: “But my paying job — the one you know me for — is ending and yes: It’s very sad.
“I fear it’s going to be very hard to not cry every day for the next 23 episodes! But, as a cast, we love bringing joy to our viewers and we will continue to do that to the best of our collective ability.”
It’s the end of an era.
3. Peyton Kennedy, Ben York Jones and Jahi Winston – Everything Sucks!
It really was a case of everything majorly sucking when the Netflix original series was binned back in April after just one season.
The coming-of-age comedy-drama had mixed reviews: The Guardian argued that the show “failed to make the grade”, while Variety urged viewers to stick with it.
Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vice president of original series, did tell IndieWire that she was “really passionate about the show”, but that hadn’t been enough to save it.
“It had a passionate and good audience coming in, but what we were finding is there were far fewer people than average who were completing the season,” added Holland.
“So when we looked at what it would take, how many viewers we need to be successful for season two, we found that the audience size wasn’t there.”
And the news was tough for certain cast members to take.
Ben York Jones, who was the show’s creator, writer and producer, also appeared fleetingly throughout the series as Mr Stargrove, and he shared the following statement on Twitter:”Had the ‘What Up With That’ song from SNL stuck in my head for three days. This is a coping mechanism. Hurts but works.”
Peyton Kennedy and Jahi Winston, who both had starring roles in the series as Kate and Luke, were also gutted about the decision.
There’s been no word yet on whether we can expect another season, but it’s not looking hopeful, folks.
4. Mads Mikkelsen – Hannibal
Back in 2016, Digital Spy asked its readers to vote on what they thought was the greatest TV drama of the 21st century– a big claim, by all accounts.
It was Hannibal that bagged the crown. 40,000 of you took part and it was the show starring Mads Mikkelsen as the eponymous killer that claimed a whopping 4.3k, more than 10% of the total vote.
And the critics loved it too, The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum writing that despite vowing to never watch the show again on several occasions because of how graphic it was, she “kept sneaking back, peeking through [her] fingers” because she just couldn’t resist.
So it’s no surprise that Mikkelsen was deeply unhappy when NBC decided to call time on the show back in 2015.
“We are all angry,” he told the Sunday Express.
“We were pissed. It’s madness. And season four was actually the one we thought we’d definitely get.
“Seasons two and three were on the verge. We didn’t know whether Hannibal would be renewed. But by the time we got to season four we thought it was a definite. We were very surprised at the decision.”
When asked if he would be up for another round of flesh munching, the Dane said “yes”, under one condition: “It all depends on [showrunner] Bryan [Fuller]. He is the key, the base, the heart.
“We will wait and see what happens next in his career. But we all know that we can easily pick this up in two or three years. There are breaks in the stories. We could pick it up, say, four years later.
“If Bryan is up for it, we will all go for it.”
Three years down the line, it’s not exactly looking promising…
5. Adam Baldwin and Nathan Fillion – Firefly
One precious season was all Firefly was given. One – and fans of the sci-fi western have never forgiven Fox’s decision to close the door on the series back in December 2002.
But how did the cast take the news? Not well. That’s how.
During a panel at Long Beach Comic Con, members of the cast told The Hollywood Reporter how they felt when they discovered that the show didn’t have a future.
“I was doing homework with my seventh grader in the trailer,” recounted Adam Baldwin, who played the Hero of Canton Jayne Cobb.
“‘Come to the stage, they cancelled us!’ My daughter’s like, ‘What does that mean?'[I told her,] ‘It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay. You don’t really need new shoes anyway.'”
Nathan Fillion, who took on the role of Captain Malcolm Reynolds, added: “We had three more days of shooting after we were cancelled and I remember thinking, “This is going to be the worst. Every day is going to be a painful reminder of what we’re losing and it’s going to be one of the saddest, most horrifying three days of the shooting.”
“And it turned out to be amazing. Everyone was determined to squeeze any last remaining drops of joy we could get from this wonderful experience. I was really impressed with how people pulled together.”
Firefly creator Joss Whedon wrote and directed the 2005 film Serenity, which was a continuation of the show, and it was also revived as a comic book series.
But it doesn’t look like fans are getting anything more than that.
6. Matt Lanter, Abigail Spencer and Sakina Jaffrey – Timeless
Timeless had a turbulent few years during its short but sweet time on the small screen. In 2017, NBC decided not to cancel the time travel drama after just one season, and picked it up for a second.
But the following year, the network dropped the show again and decided not to go ahead with a third season.
As you’d expect, show co-creator Shawn Ryan was extremely disappointed, voicing his upset on Twitter: “This is a sad day for the writers, actors, crew and especially the viewers of Timeless.
“We are all extremely proud of what we made and know that it was more than just a show for so many of our fans. It became a passion and a cause for many of them.”
And he didn’t stop there:
“We’re proud of the impact Timeless had on so many people – the students who embraced history as a result of our show, the people who were inspired by our stories of inclusion and acceptance. We saw your tweets and were inspired by you.”
And it wasn’t just those behind the camera who had something to say. Matt Lanter, who played Delta Force Soldier Wyatt Logan, also spoke out on Twitter following the decision: “I love you #Clockblockers. You’ve fought so hard and deserve so much more.”
His co-star Abigail Spencer, who played history professor Lucy Preston, added, “It’s true. Thank you for all your support #Timeless fans!
“It’s been an absolute joy playing your Lucy. I sincerely hope we get to do the Timeless movie to wrap up the story and get one more go to wrap up the series in a powerful & elegant way! More soon!”
Sakina Jaffrey, who took on the role of Homeland Security Agent Denise Christopher, also shared a deeply emotional farewell on social media, where she mentioned how unhappy she was about the decision: “Oh boy. This news sucks. Not what we expected and NOT what our fans deserved. BIG GULP!”This mama bear wants to thank our #Timeless fans for all their love and support and for creating the vibrant, compassion community we are all now a part of.”
There have been discussions about a possible two-hour movie to tie up any loose ends, but there has been no official word yet – and if we’re being honest, it seems unlikely that it will go ahead.
7. Sara Gilbert and Michael Fishman – Roseanne revival
After being rebooted following a 21-year hiatus, Roseanne’s tenth season was to be its last after the show’s matriarch, Roseanne Barr, made a racist comment about former Obama administration official, Valerie Jarrett, on Twitter and ABC swiftly cancelled the series.
“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” said ABC president Channing Dungey in a statement.
Naturally, that meant that the rest of the show’s cast were forced to suffer for Barr’s sins, and two actors in particular were understandably upset about the way the situation had unfurled.
Sara Gilbert, who is currently playing Darlene Conner, Dan and Roseanne’s second eldest child, in Roseanne spin-off The Conners, voiced her disgust about Barr’s behaviour on Twitter: “Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show.
“I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.”
Understandably, she was also devastated about the show’s cancellation: “This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we’ve created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love— one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member.”
Michael Fishman, who played D.J. Conner, first son of the Conner household, also tweeted his upset: “Today is one of the hardest in my life.
“I feel devastated, not for the end of the Roseanne show, but for all those who poured their hearts and souls into our jobs, and the audience that welcomed us into their homes.”
He then went on to say that it is important to call out such behaviour wherever possible: “While I am going to miss being part of the ABC family, I believe that to sit back or remain silent in an attempt to distance myself from the actions/statements of others would unintentionally endorse or placate those statements which I find truly offensive.
“In this moment it is important to be clear. We must stand-up against; bias, hatred, bigotry and ignorance to make society a better place for all.”
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