Runaway: CW Cancels Donnie Wahlberg Drama Series

Runaway Rader family on the runIn what seems to be a trend among the networks, another of the season’s new serial dramas has bitten the dust. CBS pulled the plug on Smith, NBC’s Kidnapped will end after 13 episodes, and things don’t look good for Fox’s Vanished. Now, CW has announced that they’re joining in and have cancelled their low-rated Runaway dramatic serial. Runaway was one of only two new series on CW (all of the rest of the CW shows were culled from either the WB or UPN).

Runaway focuses on a family of fugitives that seeks to prove the innocence of the father, Paul Rader (played by Donnie Wahlberg), after he is unjustly accused of murder. The show also stars Leslie Hope (previously seen as Jack Bauer’s wife on 24 and the Attorney General on Commander in Chief), was created by Chad Hodge, and was executive produced by Darren Star and Ed Zuckerman.

Since its September 25, 2006 debut, Runaway has averaged a meager 1.8 million viewers. The show aired for two weeks on the very competitive Monday night and was moved to Sunday just this week. Unfortunately the weak ratings didn’t improve with the move.

Eight episodes of the show have been finished thus far and only three have aired. Production was reportedly stopped on Tuesday during the ninth episode but Sony Pictures (who produces the show) didn’t confirm whether it had been stopped for good. That being said, it’s still doubtful that the remaining episodes will be aired in the U.S. The unfilmed scripts from the network’s 13 episode order are entitled “They Say It’s Your Birthday,” “Dashing Through the Snow,” “Trial and Error,” and “Knock, Knock.”

For now, CW plans to move repeats of America’s Next Top Model into Runaway’s Sunday night 9pm slot while various drama repeats will fill the 7pm hour; Smallville on October 22nd and Supernatural on October 29th.

Perhaps we’ll see the return of the popular Reba series as a result of this cancellation — if CW has another half-hour show to help fill Runaway’s slot on the schedule. I wonder if anyone at the CW network is now wishing that the much-beloved Everwood had been renewed? TV Series Finale home page

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