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

Canceled and renewed TV show

47 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. mandy says

    Honestly, when I watched the first episode of Runaway, I thought “UMMMMMMMMMMMMMM This would make a good movie, but how could you make this into a series?” Well I realized how after seeing the second episode. Please bring back Runaway, maybe on another night at a different time.

  2. Bob says

    I hear Dustin Milligan was voted “Top 10 Actors to Watch” (Variety I think) great news. The show’s ratings should go through the roof with all those “love sick” teeny boppers looking for him. OOPS I forgot, CW wanted an “Instant Success” and obviously didn’t think Darren Star (Ed too) or Sony knew what they were doing, and couldn’t wait for the “word” to get around. Looks like the fans aren’t the only losers.

    Gerry the sad truth is that CW’s target market is 18-45 year olds. So they are not really interested in young viewers (unless of course there was millions of them, after all this is Hollywood) and are most likely unsympathetic to your son’s disappointment. The people that liked the show most seemed to be viewers less then 18 and boomers (>40) exactly what they didn’t want. Since they weren’t after that crowd, advertising (if there was any) was not effective in drawing an audience.

    P.S. Apparently they did shoot until Oct 20th which means they finished production 108 (End Game). Whether fans will ever get to see them, who knows. Hopefully one of the cast will become so famous, the reels will be dusted off for nostalgic reasons.

  3. Robin says

    I am totally dissapointed that this show was cancelled. I am so sick of all the reality shows and really got into this show. maybe if you hadn’t keep changing the day it was on, then people would of been able to watch it. And if you are going to end something then do it right, don’t leave things not finished. I have had so many shows that I got into then, they were cancelled. It really makes you not want to watch a new show,because the odds are that it is going to be cancelled.

  4. Gerry says

    I am really bothered by this. Every week it seemed to change to a different day. My 15 year-old son and I really enjoyed watching it together (he was even more disappointed by the news than I was). If they could have just kept it on the same day, people would have definitely come around to it.

  5. Bob says

    My daughter was in “There’s No Place Like Home” and “End Game” them in addition to “Homecoming” which she was all excited about seeing last night. Very disappointed they cancelled the show. They were still filming “End Game” (day 6 of 8) on Wednesday (Oct 18th) when the news hit the set at about noon. Even so they didn’t release my daughter until about 1030PM after a 13 hour day. However by the end of the day most of the crew had already arranged new “gigs” so I don’t know if they completed the last to days of filming. You would think if they were 6/8ths into it they would finish.
    Very unfortunate, because the cast worked very hard and long hours to deliver a good show.
    Being around the set I was privy to what they had done with some of the upcoming episodes and things where looking up. I think CW panicked when the pilot received poor ratings and when they changed nights TV Guide had the show listed on Tuesdays then corrected it to Mondays (instead of Sundays) and AOL had the show listed on Mondays well after the change. You can read in allot of blogs, fans are totally confused.
    Oh well, maybe Sony will find a buyer.

  6. Ryan says

    HI i don’t think you should cancelle runaway really it is the best show made. I love it. So do the right thing and don’t cancelle it please it is what i look forward to on sunday nights. hope you do the right thing and keep it going bye.

  7. Jamae says

    i’m extremely annoyed by this cancellation…this show was amazing…you can’t just give a show 3 episodes to catch on…think about it…give it some time…people might catch on to it and start watching…i don’t think it should’ve been cancelled that fast…

  8. Wendy says

    I think the decision to cancel ‘Runaway’ is just another sign that network executives are idiots and that they think all the rest of us are idiots as well.

    Replacing a show that has good writing, good acting, an interesting and original premise, and something to say about the importance of family with “America’s Next Top Model”, or whatever it’s called, is insulting. No wonder the audience for network TV is shrinking like a wool sweater in a clothes dryer…who wants to watch such drivel? You’d think the folks at CW, the survivors of the meltdown of what used to be two networks, would wake up. Sadly, they haven’t.

    Shows need to be given an opportunity to find an audience. Last year’s Emmy winner, ’24’, is a case in point. The ratings on the initial episodes weren’t great and there was serious doubt the show would go beyond the original 13 episodes. While that year was just as good, dramatically, as every year that followed (and some would say it was the best season of all), it was a modest success, not a barn burner. Five seasons later, and it’s now recognized as a show that has changed the medium itself, including the financials of TV production. Yet if the network had pulled the plug on ’24’, none of that would have happened.

    If the networks are puzzled about why people are spending their limited leisure time watching old movies and old TV shows, or playing video or computer games, they need look no further than the nearest mirror. I don’t waste my time on dreck. CW just lost another viewer.

  9. Candice says

    This is soooo stupid!!!!! Maybe it doesn’t have good ratings because it’s on a Sunday and some people have church and other stuff to do on Sundays! This is soo upseting, this is such a great show and it’s very depressing to see it end considering there are few good shows out there! I think the cw should put it on a different day and see what happens.. Also if Vanished also gets canceled, whats gonna be left on tv?! The only other show I watch is 7th heaven! Youguys are making a bad move!

  10. Veronica says

    WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHY? Are you guys crazy…..that was a perfectly good show that kept you wanting more. First you guys had only and changed the time for the showing of the show twice and it only had three shows!!!! You guys are not really thinking… didn’t give people a chance to even find out about the show. I guess since Mr. Spelling is gone you guys just stop thinking about true show business. Hope you guys are successful with other shows!!!!!!

  11. cathy says

    I am sick of BIG WIGS. I’m sure they don’t watch the t.v. shows they put out. Maybe if you ran a show for awhile peaple would catch on. You should try leaving some shows for the 30 somethings. And remember some of us have tivo.

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