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Men of a Certain Age: Creators Give Up on Saving Cancelled Series

canceled Men of a Certain AgeMike Royce, the co-creator of cancelled Men of a Certain Age, says that he and co-creator/star Ray Romano are throwing in the towel. The pair have been working behind the scenes in an effort to find a new home for their TNT series.

On his blog, Royce posted a letter to fans titled “Hold Your Head Up“:

Hi folks,

Sorry I haven’t been in touch. Unfortunately there’s been nothing to report. And at this point, since we want to be straight with you guys, I have to tell you that we’ve kind of reached the end of the road. Hard to admit, but it’s true.

If you can think of a network, we called them. Of course, “Men of a Certain Age” doesn’t really belong on certain networks. But we called them too. We called everybody. We tried online, satellite, alternate content providers, corporate sponsorship, Taxi TV, filmstrips… everything. We’ve exhausted every possibility and then some.

I was certainly hoping – actually, naively expecting a different outcome. I thought somebody would pick us up. Ray and I feel strongly that there are places where MOACA would not only be an excellent fit, but a home run. But we couldn’t persuade others to see it that way. And at a certain point, you gotta move on.

Sure, a miracle could still happen somehow. So please don’t “unlike” this page or unsign the petition. It’s still good to be able to show the world how much you guys care about the show.

We can’t thank all you enough. So many of you have worked your asses off to help us find the show a home. To see the support continue to pour in now weeks and weeks later is really incredible.

It’s also hard to express how grateful we are to the awesomely talented 200+ people who made the show. The cast and the crew were not only the best but made it a joy to come to work each day.

And we also want to thank TNT. I know it’s natural to look at it like “they’re the ones who cancelled it,” but a more accurate viewpoint is “they’re the ones who put it on.” Honestly, the notion that a show about the lives of three 50 year olds was on television at all in this day and age is a miracle. It shouldn’t be, but it is. On top of that TNT gave us the rare opportunity to do the show the way we wanted.

The end result is, we’re proud of the work, proud of the critical response and mostly proud that the show seems to have secured a deep place in people’s hearts that isn’t always reached. Like some of you, we feel a little like we’ve lost a friend. But the good news is, the 22 episodes live on. They even end in a good place (if too soon).

So think of us as not as a cancelled show but a “mini-series by accident.”

Because really that’s our biggest hope: if you are a fan, turn other people on to it. We want it to live on. Hey, for better or for worse, the ratings tell us there are plenty of people out there who haven’t seen “Men of a Certain Age.” We hope they check it out.

Thanks, and see you on the hill.
—Mike Royce & Ray Romano

Men of a Certain Age ran for two seasons on TNT, beginning in December of 2009. The first season of Men attracted a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 3.2 million total viewers. The season started off strong but viewership dwindled as the season went on.

Year two kicked off part one of season two in December 2010 and essentially matched the lowest-rated episode of season one. The later episodes did even worse and averaged a poor 0.5 demo rating with 2.16 million viewers. In the spring, the second half of the season did worse with an average of a 0.4 demo and 1.59 million.

TNT cancelled the series in mid-July, a week or so after the defacto series finale aired.

What do you think? Did you like the TV series? Why do you think it didn’t catch on? Why did so many who started watching, stop?

 

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{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie Alfano August 28, 2011 at 11:11 am

My husband & I will really miss this show; we made a point of scheduling around seeing it. I think lack of network promotion was a big factor in its failure to catch on beyond the cult following. So many networks also fail to give great shows like this enough TIME to catch on; which this certainly would have. We audience members of ‘that certain age’ are starving for decent programming about real life issues, and I DON’T mean reality shows! MOACA brought some class to the process of growing out of the ‘thirty something’ era. I can’t say enough, we’ll miss you guys. PLEASE take it to another network!!!!!

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Karen August 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

Many in our family including my husband and myself LOVED this show. We dvr’d it every week so we wouldn’t miss an episode……. I feel after seeing the line up of new shows on network tv that TNT made a big mistake. This was not the only good show cancelled and replaced by mindless crap. This show was real, funny and so totally enjoyable to watch. It sparked converstion and thought about life. So sad to see such a great show not picked up by someone. Instead we are stuck with fluff and idiotic so called comedy and reality TV…..

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Irene August 28, 2011 at 9:45 am

p.s. also next show have the camera not bouncing all over the place…I used to get dizzy watching some of the scenes…

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Crystal Ilsley August 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

I loved this show. To be quite honest, the reason I started watching it in the first place was because of Scott Bakula. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve ever seen him in. Quantum Leap was and is one of my favourite shows. I was thrilled to see Scott back on TV every week. As I started watching it, it just grew on me, because of the dynamic between the 3 of them. All 3 different, yet managed to stay friends long past college, through marriage, divorce, kids, etc. Not a lot of friendships have that staying power any more and it was refreshing to see. Everyone says that it shows the life of typical middle aged men, but a lot of the stuff going on happens to women too and that made it fun and sometimes funny to watch. I’m going to miss the “mis-adventures” of the 3 of them. All in all, an excellent, well written, well produced and well acted show that was gone too soon, but then in the infamous words of Billy Joel, “only the good die young”
Good luck to everyone in their future endeavors and thanks for all the hard work trying to get another network to pick up the ball and run with it.

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LKK August 28, 2011 at 9:12 am

This is the key:
“… the 18-49 demographic…”
Why are all decisions about television programing based on that demographic?
Men was a show made by, about and for grown-ups, and because the 18-35s didn’t get it and quit watching the network decided the cost-benefit ratio wasn’t good enough and canned one of the best shows on television. The ratings were not helped at all by the way the show was tossed around and those silly 6-episode runs weeks or months apart. The audience who stuck with the show is more like 40-60 or even 70. TV doesn’t make shows for us. But we’re the ones who are home looking for something to watch that is entertaining, smart, and relevant to our life experience (and we have the real money from real jobs advertiser want spent on their products). Instead, what we are offered are stupid and cheap “reality shows” that are full of profanity and screaming. Look at the Law & Order franchise. The original L&O ran 20 years because Dick Wolf knew his audience: grown-ups who like to watch other intelligent grown-ups at the same time every week from September to January. When that show began to lose its footing (and audience) was when NBC execs began to shift it to different time slots and pushed the producers to make it more “hip” in a misguided attempt to appeal to the 18-30s advertisers want instead of its actual audience (to which advertisers should try harder to appeal, but that’s a whole other issue).
Maybe if Ray and the guys had added a laugh track the teenyboppers would have been able to “get” the jokes. Probably not. The show is funny to each of us in its own way because our own experiences are different. Men’s lack of cookie cutter laughs was part of its charm and what kept us coming back and rooting for the Men–and their women.
I still hope some network somewhere will wise up and give it a second life in a consistent time slot where real Men of a Certain Age (and their wives) know we can find it every week for several months running.

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Sharon59 August 28, 2011 at 9:07 am

I truly believe the ADD style of program scheduling harmed this show. I know a few folks who watched it initially but then bristled at having to search so hard to find it when it came back on. If didn’t even get decent rerun attention. If you don’t have DVR or On Demand, you really had to work to find this show, and then there was no guarantee you’d see it again if you missed it. Six weeks is a blip in most people’s schedules, especially through the holiday time frame. Who runs a show through Dec-Jan? Someone who wants to see it fail.
Did anyone ever see MOACA on a billboard ad? I’ve seen them for Rizzoli and Isles and other TNT shows, but never MOACA,
I found out Scott Bakula had signed on to this show about a year before it came out, and then it premiered with a whimper from the network and went downhill from there.
By the time TPTB figure out where they went wrong, MOACA will have to be set in a Florida retirement community. Sad.

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Beth August 28, 2011 at 9:01 am

Last post promise, but I had to share the clip that Mike Royce so generously edited out and sent to our Save Men FB page. Hold your Head High was our theme. There is virtually no dialogue in this and it elicits this kind of emotion. It helps to have the background but this will leave you wanting more. The brilliance of this show was its slice of everyday life portrayals. Andre Braugher was sheer genius in this scene! The last part of the scene is my favorite TV moment of all-time. https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=130556907041397&oid=160694517336268&comments

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Barbara Palmer August 28, 2011 at 8:50 am

Friends never even heard of this show. TNT never promoted it. I had to be on alert to figure out when the season began. It was too intelligent for TNT. It belonged on public TV or A&E. I’m sure some viewers dropped off because they expected something like Everybody Loves Raymond. Oh, I am so going to miss the brilliant plotting this show contained.

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Anonymous August 28, 2011 at 8:43 am

When I told friends to watch MOCA they had never heard of it. It was never promoted properly. It was hard to figure out when it returned. I think if it had been on a network like A&E or public television it would have found its audience better. It was too intelligenct for TNT.

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Ricky Borden August 28, 2011 at 8:23 am

It’s really sad that a very well written, and intelligent show like this didn’t have the audience it deserved. I guess in the age of un-reality show’s like American Idol well written, and well performed scripted shows will struggle. The long wait between season’s didn’t help either. These days when people have the attention span of 3 secs the ridiculous amount of time that passed between the short seasons is too much to ask. At least we can always remember moments like, “I just want to look at you”, and the final episode where Owen tries to slide on base and comes up short. That is comedy.

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Katie Quinn August 28, 2011 at 8:22 am

Just discovered this show, watching it on the internet, was instantly hooked and watched every episode. Incredible reality, superb writing, flawless acting. If it had to end, I think it ended on a good place, but I still want to see more–

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Brenda LeBleu August 28, 2011 at 8:19 am

I believe, like others, TNT was the wrong network for MOACA. The show was unbelievably brilliant!! My heart is broken. I will definitely buy the 22 episodes and cherish them. I agree with the comment above. How in the hell does MOACA get cancelled and the Kardashians goes on and on. Makes me ill. I am still praying for a miracle……………

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dee August 28, 2011 at 8:07 am

I absolutley love this show. The shows on TV now, are either crime shows, reality shows, or stupid laugh box comedies. MOACA fits into none of those category. It was a pure drama dealing with real life issues from a man’s perspective. And as a woman related to this series because I am married to a MOACA.

MOACA lost its following because the show was sporadic. It showed 6 episodes and went on hiatus for 6 -9 months. Normally, shows like that would lose my interest but whenever i found that it was back on..got right back onboard. The writing, storyline, characters, were absolutely superb. Each episode left me wanting to know more and more about these characters.

I am sad that this show ended. I wish it was able to get picked up by another network as I know with a lot more advertisting and a full seaons of episodes could have went on to be the best show on TV.

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RLT August 28, 2011 at 8:05 am

I am a woman who has watched every single episode of MOACA and I am saddened and appalled that TNT has cancelled this show. I believe I was hooked from the first promo I saw on television. I knew Ray would be wonderful from watching him on EVR. When Ray Barone showed a tender moment, a moment of clarity I always got a lump in my throat. I felt the same way when Joe would have a moment with his friends, his son; his wife…MOACA made me laugh and cry during the same episode.

I agree with SBMe that the new “fad” of the networks to show 3-6 episodes of a show and then not show the rest for another 6 months results in the loss of followers. Mike and Ray may thank TNT, but I do not. They never really gave the show a chance. What happened to shows with over 20 episodes per season? Lost, Greys Anatomy; for example, all had at least 20 episodes per season. This gave the audience a chance to become invested in the characters.

I love Ray, Scott, Andre, and the whole case of MOACA and I feel that the world will be somehow less without Joe, Terry, and Owen in it. Thank you gentlemen for making me actually feel something while watching television.

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Irene August 28, 2011 at 8:03 am

I loved the series Men of a Certain Age…I started watching it when David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun Z on TV reviewed it on his blog. I was introduced on this same blog by a fan of Scott Bakula’s that gave alot of background to us of the actor.

This is my 2 cents….I loved watching the show…

1. TNT showed a few episodes and then alot of time passed before more were released.
2. I think it moved around time slots and days making the show appearing to not be around.
3. The show had awesome writing, plot, and real character actors that know how to act (yes, that is a dig at these reality shows out there people…for cripes sake if you want good shows stop watching the wannabee’s.)

Best wishes in all your cast, writer’s and crew do and please let us know future projects cuz ya’ll Men of a Certain age have a loyal following.

Til the next time~

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