He said, “Our ratings had really been on the cusp or a little bit below the cusp for a few weeks now so [the cancellation] didn’t come as a huge shock. We were all hoping for a bounce but, the funny thing is there’s so much data now on viewership that you can always find some thing that looks good for your show. For us it was, ‘Hey, were doing better than that timeslot’s done for a couple years even though we’re not doing well overall.'”
“It’s a brutal timeslot. we’re up against Big Bang Theory which is the number one comedy on TV, we’re up against X Factor, we’re up against NFL football games on the NFL network which draws a lot of men and a lot of men like our show.”
Ryan concluded, “So, it wasn’t a huge shock but it’s still a big disappointment. I would compare it to, if you have a relative who becomes terminally ill and you know it’s coming but there’s still a shock when it happens.”
Why did ABC put Last Resort in such a tough timeslot? Ryan said, “The first point was [ABC says] ‘We gotta put something there; we don’t go dark at 8pm on Thursdays…’ They had had some initial success three years ago with FlashForward. That premiered big and eventually cratered, but at least they got an audience at the beginning — an audience that was a little more male. They thought [Last Resort] was a big, bold concept that would attract people. They were worried about putting something that was a little more normal, that it would get swamped and disappear.”
He feels badly about the cancellation, mostly because of the crew. Ryan shared, “It’s really disappointing for the people who work on the show, the crew, who work on a weekly paycheck. The fact is, I’ll still be able to feed my family though I’m crushingly disappointed creatively that we won’t be able to continue the story. And yet I’m very clear that there are people who are now going to be out of a job in a few weeks with this decision and these are people who were working 14 or 16 hour days on behalf of the show and I feel very bad for them.”
What do you think? Were you surprised that Last Resort was cancelled by ABC? That the show didn’t get better ratings?