Black Box: Has the ABC TV Show Been Cancelled?

Black Box TV show canceled or season two?ABC recently cancelled several shows (Mixology, Suburgatory, Betrayal, etc.) and renewed many others (Resurrection, Revenge, The Goldbergs, etc.). What about the new Black Box series that airs on Thursday nights?

The show revolves around a beautiful and brilliant neuroscientist (Kelly Reilly) who’s hiding the fact that she’s bipolar. The rest of the cast includes Ditch Davey, David Ajala, Terry Kinney, Ali Wong, David Chisum, Laura Fraser, Siobhan Williams, and Vanessa Redgrave.

The show debuted on April 24th to a poor 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 6.87 million viewers. The ratings have gotten even worse as the weeks have progressed. This week’s installment hit a new low with a 1.1 rating and 4.31 million.

While ABC hasn’t cancelled Black Box, they surely will. The ratings have just been too low to be renewed for a second season.

The question now is, “Will all of the episodes air?” There are nine episodes remaining. If the ratings keep going down, the network could easily pull the show and replace it with reruns. Hopefully they’ll either air or release them so the show’s small audience can see them.

What do you think? Do you think that Black Box should be cancelled or renewed for a second season? Do you think ABC should air all of the episodes they have?

Canceled and renewed TV show

1,633 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Wendy says

    Black Box is one of the few shows I REALLY like. I would hate to see it canceled, and I definitely want ABC to air the remaining 9 episodes!

    • Rona Riley says

      I totally agree. The show has a hypnotic effect on me. Sometimes I watch it twice, I enjoy it so much. The stories are almost like science fiction. If you take it off the air part of me will go with it. DO NOT CANCEL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Felice says

    Cancel it. I’ve tried, mainly because there is so little to watch during the summer but it’s comically bad. Bickman being allowed to perform surgery shortly after being shot and nearly passing out right after saving the day was pretty laugh out loud ridiculous. The idea that Vanessa Redgrave’s psychiatrist would be upset with her bipolar patient for revealing that her niece is really her daughter to her long suffering fiance but not with the whole idea of everyone involved living a lie and putting the poor kid in a position where she’s bound to have her world explode some day is absurd. And why should she keep her condition secret anyway? Every week half a dozen more outmoded 50s/60s soap cliches are trotted out. Black Box makes Grey’s Anatomy at its silliest look like Shakespeare. Having had a bipolar person married into the family I have to laugh at those carrying on about how this show is a serious exploration of that condition. The lead character is pretty much as completely selfish and self centered and childish on or off her meds so her main problem seems to have less to do with being bipolar and more to do with being a pain in the ass brat. I won’t be watching another episode whether it’s canceled or not. It started out kind of fun and interesting but has quickly become quite stunningly stupid.

    • Anonymous says

      Well, too bad for you, as you are in the minority. Being Bipolar II myself, and a professional, I can attest to sometimes going on and off meds. I am well aware of my symptoms and for Bipolar II, I can sometimes get away with a break from certain meds. I have done my job responsibly for 27 years! One cannot take meds. when one has to work all night. He or she might go to sleep.
      You talk about Bickman performing surgery after he was shot. He had recovered somewhat. Most people thrive on getting back to work. The assistant did the surgery under his guise. How many surgeons have operated while in perfect health while they were hungover, overtired or on amphetamines themselves? Not ethical, BUT IT DOES HAPPEN.

      Catherine’s daughter is old enough to eventually handle being told who she is. In fact, she would be relieved at her age. Vanessa Redgrave is on target with her therapy. Why should she tell Will when she is uncertain of marrying him? Good that she realized that now. And by the way, she did tell him in spite of it all.

      The show has value, and it just needs a little tweaking.

      • Felice says

        I’m only in the minority at this site. Obviously most people who gave it a try stopped. That’s why the ratings suck. I just stumbled on this site out of idle curiosity as to whether it was going to be canceled as I had predicted after the third epi. And sorry, the Bickman story line ( it wasn’t even days after being shot ) the idea of an entire highly educated family conspiring to keep that kind of secret in this day and age, the crazy other woman, her prospective mother-in-law who seems to have arrived via time machine from the 50s, ( just like the old TV show in the sequence) and all the rest of the tired soapy over the top cliches are anything but original or innovative. Nothing that happens is a surprise once you understand the formula which became obvious by epi 2. That’s why people aren’t watching. That’s why you folks who think it’s great are in the minority. Have a nice day. I checked to see if there was any response to my comment, also out of idle curiosity and because I couldn’t resist, and won’t be back. And neither will this sorry attempt at recreating something as innovative as House. At least not for a season 2.

        • Rona Riley says

          My husband was bipolar, the nasty kind, lots of manic episodes. It was refreshing to see a show that discussed this mental illness. It is very accurate and off beat enough to be absolutely delicious. The one where the shooter had a brain tumor really made you think. No other show does that. I look forward to it every week. I am an educated woman (Master’s degree) with two grown sons. They like Game of Thrones, a show that I could not get into no matter how hard I tried. There is a softness about Black Box which I like, no real violence. Vanessa Graves, well I did not like her before this now I do. I would love to have a psychiatrist like her. The one with Bickman performs surgery after being shot, shows how dedicated he was. Besides he was only grazed. I am looking forward to the love affair between Catherine and Bickman.

            • Rona Riley says

              Black box does display bipolar accurately. Silver Linings Playbook does NOT. That movie angered me because LOVE does not solve everything, certainly not bipolar. Don’t cancel a good, educational and exciting show.

    • Anonymous says

      Well….that’s one thing we all have in common-Opinions.
      And wide selections of other programming.

      There are moments when I just want to escape reality, watch silly mindless shows, with happy endings. And that’s ok.

  3. Jeanette Erdie says

    Honestly, I absolutely love this show. The ratings are down because of the summer, people are busier. I have to watch it later to catch up, but the show is amazing. I hope they give it a chance.
    Please air all the episodes.

  4. Mary says

    I LOVE Black Box! I am quite surprised the ratings are low. Kelly Reilly plays the part very well, keeps her interesting, and makes her intense and real. I hope the show will continue as it is my favorite drama.

  5. Beth says

    It is a great show and should be saved. The acting and the writing are both superb. It would do better at a 9pm time slot.

  6. Lisa says

    I watch barely any television. My daughter and I have been watching episodes on demand. I love it, and it has so much potential! I hope it isn’t canceled.

  7. D.Omernick says

    I love this show for so many reasons, which have been mentioned in all the other comments. The biggest draw is the fantastical, powerful, complex, and scary workings of the brain. Of course with a hollywood delivery. But that’s ok-it is entertainment, not a documentary. Dr. Black is still evolving with her illness(bipolar), she hasn’t quite faced the reality of it’s dark side. Another interesting aspect of this show, and the illness.
    LOVE Kelly Reilly & Vanessa Redgrave and their characters.
    Perhaps ABC can tweak it a bit, put it in another time slot, and give it another season.
    I don’t want it to die. And I do think they should give us ALL the episodes!

  8. Rona Riley says

    The Black Box is one of the most thought provoking, wonderful shows I have ever seen. It is a medical show like Gray’s Anatomy, but so much more. The main character is mysterious and likable, I love her. The cases presented are unusual, you won’t see these strange types of cases anywhere else. My husband was bipolar so that this show has a special meaning for me. When I look at other shows that have high ratings I wonder if I am out of tune with the taste of the general public or if the public is just not getting what a gem Black Box is. It took Seinfeld 3 yrs. to become as popular as it was. Black Box is just getting started, please do not pull the plug on it.

    • Lynn Lello says


      You are so right! Much of the general public cannot appreciate the different levels of manic depression. The character suffers from BiPolar I disorder. There is BiPolar II. I would like to see the writers explore more of the character’s issues with BiPolar I. The dialogue between Katie Reilly and Vanessa Redgrave is very real and thought-provoking. This is not an unusual occurrence. It may cause sexual cycling, etc. As we know, there are doctors, teachers, judges, etc. who cope with this mental illness on a daily basis and are very high functioning.

      ABC has dumbed down so many shows, because we live in a pop culture. This show is unlike ANY others, because it explores the issues of mental illness, still often disregarded in our culture. For the people who are educated and can learn from it, please keep it on the air. I like it better than Grey’s Anatomy. Grey’s is tired. This is fresh and insightful. Tweet ABC to keep it going. Thanks.

      • Rona Riley says

        I loved your comments, Lynn. Glenn Close is starting to bring mental illness out of the closet and be considered an illness like any other. This show deals with it head on. Can I really tweet ABC? Thanks

    • Margie Rose Dalton says

      Agree! It seems dreams that make you compassionate are too hard to give a break. Now a days ever George C. ER. would be cut!

  9. Maggie Dalton says

    I have watched since first episode. I am hooked every time she’s on
    Thought provocative like Kelly since MARY RILEY. SINCERLY, hope season two is around.

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