Happy Town: New ABC Mystery Show; Cancel or Keep It?

Happy TownLast night, ABC premiered their new Happy Town TV show. Despite the cute name, the series isn’t a happy go-lucky sitcom but is actually a dark murder-mystery drama. Most importantly, will ABC be happy enough with the ratings to keep it on the air?

Happy Town takes place in a small Minnesota community called Haplin that, years ago, was plagued by unsolved kidnappings. Now, a horrific murder puts everyone on edge once again and uncovers deep feelings and resentments. Has the mysterious “Magic Man” returned to claim more victims? From the creators of October Road, this series features Sam Neill, M.C. Gainey, Geoff Stults, Lauren German, Amy Acker, Steven Weber, Ben Schnetzer, Sarah Gadon, Jay Paulson, and Robert Wisdom.

After receiving mostly moderate to negative reviews, Happy Town debuted to weak numbers. Per the overnights, the ABC premiere attracted a disappointing 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and just 5.23 million viewers. That put the series in second place in the demographic and third place in total viewers.

Those numbers also represent a loss of nearly 40% in the demo from lead-in Cougar Town and a 20% loss in total audience. What’s more, last week’s disappointing Ugly Betty finale did better with a 1.8 rating and 5.56 million. On top of that, a sizable amount of the Happy Town audience tuned out before the first episode was even over, likely meaning they won’t be back next week.

What do you think of Happy Town?

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A new show typically loses at least 10-15% of its audience in week two and Happy Town hardly has any viewers to spare. As you might have guessed, none of this is a good sign for the show’s future.

Eight episodes have been filmed and hopefully, ABC will air them all. If the ratings fall as expected however, the network could pull the series early. Unless these ratings get a lot better, it’s highly unlikely that ABC will want to go back to Happy Town next season.

But, what do you think? Is Happy Town worth watching or should it just be cancelled now? If you watched, what did you like or dislike about it?

Canceled and renewed TV show

130 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Anonymous says

    3 episodes and then cancelled? Surely not! I have really started to enjoy the series, but I will admit that it did start off kind of slow, and I hope if it doesn’t get canceled that the writers have more mysteries in store for us rather than drawing out the mystery man from year to year.

    Question: didn’t 3-4 of these actors also star in October Road? If so, I really wish they would bring in Bryan Greenberg :)

    • Jerri says

      Yes, they made us think that it was already cancelled after 3 episodes, but I still had it in my DVR. It recorded last night (Wed., June 2). I looked it up on the web, and it was on hiatus due to two specials, and it is now brought back. Even so, it is still cancelled but will air 4 more shows (every Wed. in June), and then will end with a finale on June 30….the end of the Magic Man. At least they are giving us an ending. I still hate to see it end. I really enjoy the show. It even got better last night.

  2. Kelly Genskow says

    Here we are my husband and I watching the 3rd episode, and I was looking up on the internet when the 4th would be shown. Now I find out that I may not be able to finish the series!!! I am so sick of a.b.c. that I feel like not even watching any shows on this network. Is it really so hard to get this show a time slot that could work, or do we have to watch another reality show. Never watched any of them never will.

  3. polar bear says

    Keep it! Like some above, i was wondering where it was and cared enough to find this and comment–unusual for me.

  4. Auyanna says

    I find it so hard to believe that you would only give the show 3 episodes and just cancel it. The show was really good and I looked forward to watching it every week. This show is unique to anything else on prime TV. Happy Town was the only show I watched on ABC, everything else I watched on Fox. ABC made a very bad decision by taking that show off, now looks like Fox will be gettng all my Television time.

  5. Diane says

    I liked the episodes I saw and then I couln’t find the show again!! I was just geting into it!! I would keep it on and not cancel it!!

  6. Jerri says

    After reading all this a couple of weeks ago, I was really afraid they would cancel the show, but ………..after 3 episodes??????????? That it uterely rediculous! Each episode drew you in more. How did they know that is wouldnt go over good? People hardly had a chance to even know it was on. Yes…it is similiar to Harpers Island, which I loved. As everyone is starting to realize…TV is soon going to be almost all reality show. Stupid low life people are getting their own shows and making millions simply because they did something stupid. Havent we got enough reality garbage on TV? Also the comedies! They are NOT what a good comedy used to be. The are silly with no story. Garbage. You put on a good mystery, and poof….its gone. Must cost a fortune to make a series only to show one, two or three episodes. Pretty soon the actors will be afraid to make a show for you. All the work they put into it for nothing!

  7. stacey says

    I love this show. I’m tired of the networks cancelling shows after you become interested and look forward to the next show!

  8. jenn says

    This show definitely kept my interest from day one. I am incredibly shocked and disturbed that it is being canceled since it was actually one of the few shows I was looking forward to watching. The cast has done a great job telling the story and the plot is definitely unique. ABC didn’t give it even a fighting chance, such a shame!

  9. britt says

    I really wish they would not cancel this show!!! I was JUST starting to love it!! I am sooo sick of stupid reality shows, why can’t there ever be a good mystery on?? PLEASE don’t cancel this show!!

  10. Pat says

    Can’t understand why it wasn’t on last night. How can they expect to gain as audience if they don’t have it on after only two episodes?? The show reminds me of Harper’s Island. Would hate to see it end without finding out what happened!

    • Deb says

      I totally agree with Pat. We like a little supense in a show (like harpers isle). We miss watching it. If they are not bringing it back at least tell us who done it. Sherlock holmes and others would not leave us hanging like this

  11. Alan Rebollar says

    The Plot/StoryLine is Good In this one. But because the mistery did not began to unfold until the third episode the viewers got bored to it. Though there is the other half of people who actually gave it a chance to watch teh third episode which as far as I’m concerned gave the story what it was missing. But as far as ABC’s comes, it was it’s fault for not comming up with a hook since the beggining of teh show. To be honest the show started being quite boring but not to lie it got pretty interestign after the second episode made me want to see more. ABC Really got it wrong with thsi one. Don’t give up just yet though Air the remaining shows, take the risk and see where it leads, we all want to see what happens next.

  12. Betty says

    here we go again!! Why do you pull in the people just to say we are canceling the show. happy Town didn’t get a chance to to have someone say let’s cancel it. You people at a.b.c. have done this more than once to the people. I guess I will not watch a.b.c. anymore. I’m sick of this.

  13. says

    THREE EPISODES! Are you kidding me? I really MISSED this show last night. I was looking forward to a network show for the first time in forever.
    You finally have a new show with a plot, and you ditch it for what – another stupid reality show? Reruns?
    Please do not cancel Happy Town. I need my fix.

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