Alcatraz: Cancelled; No Season Two

canceled Alcatraz on FOXFOX has thrown away the key on Alcatraz. The J.J. Abrams thriller has been cancelled after one season and 13 episodes.

Alcatraz follows the investigations of police detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Doctor Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia). They work to uncover how 340 inmates and guards disappeared from the infamous prison in 1963 and why they’re now reappearing looking just the same. The show also features the talents of Jonny Coyne, Parminder Nagra, Jason Butler Harner, and Sam Neill.

Fueled by a lot of promotion, the TV series was launched in January and drew good reviews and strong numbers. The two-hour premiere attracted a 3.3 rating in the all-important 18-49 demographic with 10.05 million total viewers. Opposite some tough competition from CBS, Alcatraz was in second place in its timeslots.

In week two, the demo slipped 9% to a still respectable 3.0 rating with 9.03 million. Week three dropped another 7%. That wasn’t positive but not horrible either but the ratings just kept falling.

Should FOX have cancelled Alcatraz?

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In February, NBC launched season two of The Voice and Alcaraz’s ratings took a big dive. They ropped 18% on February 6th and then another 17% on the 13th. The numbers just kept falling after that.

The two-hour season (now series) finale was in fourth place in the timeslots and averaged a disappointing 1.6 demo rating with 4.76 million total viewers.

The first season of Alcatraz ended up averaging a 2.2 demo rating with 6.74 million viewers — and those numbers would have dropped lower had there been more episodes.

On our FOX report card — which ranks the network’s shows based on demo averages — Alcatraz has a “C” and that just wasn’t good enough to get a renewal.

FOX chose to keep Touch instead but the network stays in business with producer J.J. Abrams via the network’s Fringe renewal.

What happened? It would seem that Alcatraz just wasn’t compelling enough to keep viewers returning week after week. Plus, for the first time in quite awhile, all three of the major networks had really strong programming on Monday nights. Two of the competing shows — The Voice and Dancing with the Stars — are reality competitions and many viewers feel compelled to watch them “live” rather than catch them online or via DVR recordings.

All 13 episodes of Alcatraz have aired and the last episode left viewers wondering what would happen next. Unless the producers decide to share what they had in mind for season two, we’ll never know the answers to the show’s mysteries.

What do you think? Why do you think Alcatraz failed to hold onto a bigger audience? Did FOX make a mistake by cancelling the series? What will you miss about it?

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837 Comments · Read them below or add one

    • Kathy says

      I really liked Alcatraz. I was excited to see what happened next season. The problem isn’t the show, it’s the programming department. If you know two reality shows air during that time slot and that they are both mega hits why put your series up against them? You are setting it up for failure. I think the show would have been popular in a better time slot. Have you looked at the current seasons schedule? There are several nights, in my opinion that tv just plain stinks! I’m sure others will agree. Perhaps if your scheduling dept thought about that Alcatraz would have had a better following. I hope you will consider this before you lead another show to slaughter.

  1. Bill says

    Very Upset! I thought that we finally had a show that was going to be written as deep as Lost was. The story was just getting heated up and I will surely miss what was going to materialize in season two.

  2. Paulette Butler says

    who cares about the stupid reality shows. Thy are all annoying anyway. Alcatraz was a well written and acted show. That’s the trouble with tv writers. They get a good show then give up on it. Get rid of all the reality shows and put some shows on that people will watch. I just can’t stress enough how reality shows are getting in the way of entertainment.

  3. Nina says

    I have to say, the “reality” shows are getting annoying. This show was a great mystery. Finally a creative show to watch rather than some scripted realiy show. I was looking forward to the second season. Don’t watch much TV but this show I watched.

  4. Mindy says

    I loved this show! and have been waiting for season two, to only find out it is canceled!? It was based on an extremely interesting prison/ huge tourism site and gave viewers a neat spoke about the island. I really enjoy criminal shows and this one was my favorite. I agree with move it to another night if that was the problem!

  5. joni says

    Bring it back, not all of us care for the “unreality” shows. This was a good show, now we are left hanging. Move it to a different night. Jeez, sad to say I have to look for non-network offerings when you let these good shows go. Isn’t it o.k. to be in 3rd or 4th place?

  6. says

    Really, waiting patiently for the return of Alcatraz. I just found out show has been cancelled!!!!! GET RID OF THE REALITY SHOWS. Finally some good television, only to be shut down. what is wrong with this picture.

  7. Carol says

    Loved Alcatraz and looked forward to seeing it. It had great acting. It was one of those shows that needed time to get a following and it would do quite well. The network made a big mistake here!

  8. Sylvia and Bob Deck says

    Put the show back on for those that watch it and not another reality tv show that isn’t based on real life. We are sick of “reality shows” that show how stupid people can be. We don’t need one more show like that. Some of us have more intelligence and want a show that engages the mind in the what ifs vs. people acting badly to get their 5 minutes of fame in front of a camera.

  9. ashlee says

    Shows like Alcatraz, Tera Nova, Pan Am…should have never been
    cancelled. They were some of the best, if not THE best. I think the ratings went down, not because of people not watching the shows, but because people were recording them and watching them on their own time. So it just looked like people werent watching. BRING THEM BACK!!!!

  10. Mike H says

    PUT IT BACK ON…while your at it, how bou’t doing something to get LOST going again!!! I don’t want another NCIS…give us what we want! Or cancell yourself!!!

  11. Dawn S says

    We hate that Alcatraz was cancelled. We really enjoyed the show. We are not reality TV fans and would rather watch a good drama or suspense show. Shame on the FOX execs for giving up so soon. Alcatraz needs to return to TV.

  12. Paul James says

    I swear FOX is the dumbest fing station on the planet! Every FOX executive needs to be systematically exterminated like your average cockroach or bug! They did the same thing with JOHN DOE many years ago. It really boggles my mind how these guys get these jobs when they can’t even find there ***** even if someone is pointing to it. I guess its true, when you become someones bottom boy, great things happen to you.

    WOW! Way to go FOX!

  13. Len says

    This is typical of all these business decisions, they give us what they want not what we want! Reality TV, case in point!

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