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. Shaun says

    there have been many shows throughout the years that i’ve loved which have been canceled. happy town is the latest. It is frustrating to start watching a series only to have it pulled from you after a few episodes. I understand if there are no viewers then the network loses money. all i ask is if shows are to be canceled then just finish them. show us viewers how the writers would have ended the series regardless of how many shows have aired. it would give a sense of closure and make the sting of having one less favorite show to watch a little more bearable.

  2. T says

    They can’t Canclle this show they just can’t i don’t own a TV BUT I DO watch it on the Computer i am a poor person someone said TV or Computer well they let me see TV Shows on Computer so i am good … other wise i be lost … God said let her have Computer … now ABC give us back Happy Town ….am really tired of Stations taking thangs away like that ….. did the same thang back when they made a Dark Shadows Series with Ben Cross it was ABC that aired it and then took it away …dont do it to Happy Town Too please

  3. Shawn says

    I hate CBS, ABC, NBC. They lways cancel the good shows. Like 2 million viewers isn’t enough?! What about the people who watch it??? I guess they don’t care

  4. Anna says

    They did not give this show a chance, they gave it the worst possible time slot and lead in. Placing it behind cougar town? Who’s bright idea was that? Whoever it was they need to be fired – that was a bad decision. I’m not a fan of cougar town despite the fact that Courtney Cox is the lead. I love Courtney, or I guess I show say I loved her in Friends which was a great show. I don’t like The Gates very much but it would have made much more sense to couple those two shows together than to put a show like HappyTown on after a sitcom. I don’t think ABC gave HappyTown a chance. They are to busy hopping on the vampire wagon with everyone else. I am tired of ‘reality TV’ and I am tired of mediocre sitcoms, I want something that makes me thing – and that is what HappyTown did with the whodunit mystery. I guess ABC is catering to a different kind of audience now days.

  5. suzymac says

    this is way i cnx tv!!!!!!! i would not pay for the trite they put on & take off the excellent shows like Happy Town….My own worst enemy……Flashforward……Dollhouse……I think these shows are too good & they want us to watch crap!!!!! if eveyone cnx tv, they would start listening to the viewers.

  6. michelle says

    All I have to say is why do I bother with ABC. Every time they actually have a good show they cancel it and never show the end of the show… Personally I’m pretty much done watching any thing on ABC.

    • marilyn says

      Michelle i wanted you to know if you didn’t know this yet.You can watch all 8 episodes at ABC.com on the internet.I pulled up some episodes at TV Guide.com under DVR recorder and then I got to watch the last 4 at ABC.com…It sort of lets you know who the killer is but then it leaves you hanging because i am not really sure, but it sure sounds like this is the killer and it will never guess who they show???

  7. Marlyn says

    I wanted to watch it the first time it came on but forgot to tape it and I have seen the 2nd,3rd and 4th I think on line and I think its great and keeps me coming back for more,So sad to see its cancled whats wrong with this show…give it a chance! Will they show the rest of the 8? I would like to know what is going on.

  8. R & K Green says


  9. Traci says

    I loved that show…why would you cancel it, why not try another day and hour..there was so much going on in that day and time slot, that you didn’t even give the show a chance. BRING IT BACK!

  10. stop says

    Just found and saw last two episodes web only. Prove this has become a really good show. Does ABC see this. It should be continued. Looked at the fall lineup – won’t watch most an predict most will fail. For summer scoundrels and gates are not keepers hard to keep watching despite the lack of decent summer shows on all channels. What are the networks looking at or listening too. Good time to think about saving money and canceling tv. Reading again much more because of such bad tv. Time out for last 2 happy town a happy time. ABC should reinstated.

  11. says

    What a twist at the end had know idea the magic man was Alice Conroy. ABC needs to bring the show back next season and answer all our questions. It made us feel like we were watching LOST. Dump the reality shows and bring back shows like this that make you want to watch TV.

    • 'BB Rabozza says

      But was the magic man really Alice? Or was she the keeper of the victims for someone else? And Sheriff Griff kept the secrets.

  12. K. Green says

    My husband and I loved the show from the get go. Every week we wanted to see what happened next. We hope another network picks it up…if not, that what WAS on TV for a short time will be out on DVD. The people that didn’t like it don’t understand mysteries, or it was “over their heads”. It was well written!

  13. brook says

    I can’t believe they cancelled the show before letting us faithful viewer know the end. I now know why ABC is usually the last channel I go to!!!

    • mammacita5767 says

      Why does ABC always cancel the great shows??????? Now we will neve know who the “Candy Man” was? The show Witches of Eastwick……They canceled it also. That is Bullsh*t.

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