Past Life: Struggling FOX TV Show Cancelled after Three Episodes

Past Life canceled on FOXFor a show about past lives and reincarnation, FOX’s show has certainly had a very short lifespan. With poor ratings and reviews, the network has cancelled Past Life after three episodes.

Inspired by the book, Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose, Past Life revolves around past-life detectives who try to discover if a person’s problems and visions stem from traumatic events in a former life. The series stars Kelli Giddish, Nicholas Bishop, Ravi Patel, and Richard Schiff.

FOX had originally ordered 13 episodes of Past Life but, in mid-October, cut that to just seven installments. The official reason given was that the network had a plethora of mid-season programming but the move sure wasn’t a sign of confidence for the project.

The TV series got off to a poor start with a special showing on Tuesday, February 9th. Past Life averaged 8.32 million viewers and a 2.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Those numbers aren’t bad on their own but they do represent a loss of about 70% of the American Idol lead-in audience. What’s more, a significant number of people stopped watching before the Past Life episode had finished. An average of 9.6 million were watching the first half hour but only 7.14 million watched the second half.

Should Past Life have been cancelled?

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A couple days later, Past Life debuted in its regular Thursday night timeslot. Predictably, it was pummeled by the competition. It came in at fourth place in its timeslot with just 5.3 million viewers and a terrible 1.4 in the demo.

Last night’s episode was even worse. Per the overnight ratings, Past Life registered just 3.9 million viewers and a 1.1 in the 18-49 demographic. That’s particularly disappointing when you consider that most of the other networks were in repeats.

American Idol will be expanding to Thursday nights for the next three weeks and run at 8pm. Rather than give more time to a sinking ship, FOX execs have decided to pull Past Life and replace the drama with episodes of Kitchen Nightmares.

Nightmares will continue to air on Friday nights but those episodes will be repeats. On April 1st, original episodes of Bones and Fringe will take over on Thursdays. New episodes of Nightmares will then resume on Fridays.

TV show supportThe network says that the remaining four episodes of Past Life will surface at some point in the season but, given their overflow of successful programming, that doesn’t seem all that likely.

It would seem that the Past Life cancellation was decided either late last night or very early this morning. The “masked scheduler” tweeted, “Drove on to the lot and the Past Life poster was being torn down….hmmmmmm.”

What do you think? Was Past Life worth watching or did it deserve to be cancelled? Do you think FOX will really air the remaining four episodes?

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194 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Jason says

    It was a great but short lived show. I think the show should have delt in past lives that dated back more than a generation or 2. These people were in the present reflecting issues from the 1980s? That doesn’t seem like a distant past issue at all. If they traced these issues back 100s of years it would have made the show alot more chilling. Like the old flashback epiodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the Angel spinoff that dated back to the 18th century. That could span many past lifetimes instead of just the most recent 1.
    I thought a perfect epiode would be about 2 star crossed lovers that had a forbidden love affair during the French Revolution in the 18th century, kind of like a Star Wars senerio with Aniken Sywalker and Padame Amidalla. Except they were forbidden by the girls parents because she came from a noble upper class family or royalty and the guy was from a lower middle classed family, also having a huge age gap where the guy is in his late 20s and the girl is a 15 or 16 year old. After they fall madly in love and want to marry the parents try everything to break them up uncluding exiling the girl from the family. After sneaking around and marrying in secrecy when things take a bad turn some revolutionaries plotting to overthow the french upper class offer to kill the girls family and make it look like part of the revolution, the guy goes along with the idea due to his obsession thus turning into a fatal attraction. In the chaos the girl is accidently killed along with her family, the guy becomes so heartbroken and miserable he almost committs suicide due to the guilt and tormented heartbrake of his lost love, instead of kiiling himself he is driven insane and is “lost to the dark side of the Force” thus becomes very active in the revolution and kills many people from the old upper class and when the peasents try to rebel against the new Revolutionary govt he helps attacks them thinking that everyone is an enemy of the new political order, thus accuses 100s of people of treason before killing them. He dies feeling betrayed by his own allies right after Nopolean becomes emperor around 1800.
    Then over 180 years later in 1985 he meets the reincarnation of his lost love as a 14 year old in their high school gym class 1000s of miles away in a suburb of Atlanta, GA,USA. He is 17 years old
    in their present life (only 3 years apart this time). She instantly falls in love with him and acts obsessed about wanting to date him. He has no instant memory of her from their past and mistakes her for being some nut-case sex crassed HS freshman after making up a similar story based on events from their past life togather then recreating them or applying them to her present life, thus rejects her. She becomes really mad and upset and tries to manipulate him lying more and more about herself so he will be attracted to her. He’s unfortunently conviced this this is all a sick game and she’s pretending to be attracted to him, then after she becomes one of the prettiest and most popular girls in school in the next year or 2, he becomes miserable that he never gave her a fair chance to prove herself or understood what she really was about. He eventually becomes tormented with guilt and sadness again for not going out with her plus missing out on an incredible life-changing opportunity relationship and spends years wondering WHY he feels as though he killed her accidently. Then in a past life regression he realizes that the tormented sadness is from a combination of both lifetimes and meeting her like this in high school having that experience triggered all this past life regressional trauma. He always felt that if he had gone out with her again in this life he could have made up for her accidental death in the past life, since he felt responsible for her death, even though it was an accident. Unforunently by the time he realizes his mistake it’s too late because she’s already moved on with her life and literally moved out of the area with her family. This is unfortuntly based on a true story, my personal experience, that’s why it would be great if someone wrote a similar episode or even a “Past Life” movie similar to this.

  2. Marilyn says

    I am really disappointed that such an interesting and well acted show as Past Life is no longer on the air. I hope that it will surface somewhere soon. We have dozens of channels and many more activities including the computer and internet competing for our time, not to mention that most women work as well and that our free time is practically nonexistant…we don’t sit all evening and watch or switch channels like we used to!People lead such busy lives now. We record or watch only our favorite shows as a rule, .People need a chance to FIND a new show and to pass on information by word of mouth. It can take at least six months or more to run into a new show.

  3. Mona says

    I recorded the Pilot and just got around to watching it. I thought it was a great show and couldn’t wait to see more. Of course, went on line to check it’s status and see that it was cancelled. That really does suck! I thought both the lead actors were really good. I think we are so stuck on stupid “Reality” shows that an interesting show comes along and no one even bothers to watch it.

  4. jennifer hamilton says

    I don’t watch much tv, really hectic schedule, but i do watch computer internet programs, shows i like when I want to watch. sorely disappointed that Past lives is canceled. Medium, Past lives and Ghost whisperer were my favorites and three shows I tune into each week online. I really think powers to be shut this one down way too quick, I hope maybe another network will get the opportunity to cash in on Fox’s poor judgment. I say CBS seems the top choice to me. I love CBS, and I Love Past Lives!! What an awesome line up that would be Ghost whispers, Medium, & following with Past Lives!!

  5. Sharon Larson says

    I happen to be maybe one of the few,that DOES NOT appreciate the reality tv shows every chanel seems to put on. The few(and gettin fewer) shows I enjoy they keep canceling.It’s going to keep on till I probably won’t watch regular tv anymore.

  6. Tonya&David says

    We really think this sucks we really enjoyed the show and thought it would be another hit. It kept things going leaving you wondering and piecing together the puzzle. We really wish they would of taken a vote instead of pulling it off the air like they did leaving everyone hanging. We was looking forward to the next show after the last one aired.

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