Shark: CBS Gives James Woods Series the Hook — No Season Three

SharkCBS has decided to cancel Shark after two seasons on the air. What killed the series?

Shark debuted on September 21, 2006 and stars James Woods as Sebastian “Shark” Stark, an arrogant and cutthroat prosecutor. The TV show did pretty well in its first season on CBS. It ranked 24th for the season with an average of 13.7 million viewers. The one downside was that the show’s viewers tended to skew older. But, in a season littered with prematurely cancelled drama series (Smith, 3 lbs., The Nine, etc.), the show’s ranking and survival was an impressive achievement. The series was renewed for a second season.

Season two kicked off on Sunday, September 23, 2007. In that 10pm timeslot, Shark had to compete against ABC’s popular Brothers & Sisters and consistently lost in total viewers and the all-important 18-49 demographic.

Like most shows, Shark’s production schedule was interrupted by the writers strike. When the strike was over, production resumed and four more episodes were created. After a long absence, new episodes began airing in late April. In the show’s new Tuesday night timeslot, it was easily beaten by ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen in both total and 18-49 viewers.

The show’s chances for a third year were still up in the air until just recently. Ultimately, the combination of Shark’s inability to attract younger viewers, the writers strike, and CBS’ excitement over its new dramas is likely what led the network to cancel the series.

Woods tells the LA Times that the cast and crew were “very saddened” by the news but were trying to stay positive. He continues, “We’re a little baffled by the decision but we’re very supportive… None of us can figure out quite why. But we have no bad feelings. This show did an enormous amount for me personally. We all won doing the show.”

>The current season, cut short by the writers strike, is made up of only 16 episodes. Shark’s series finale is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20th. It’s unlikely that the episode will offer any kind of closure for the series. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

Canceled and renewed TV show

334 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Darren Newstead says

    Shark was the best thing on tv for years and now you cant even get seies 2 on dvd what is going on. Bring back Shark

  2. Deb says

    I am watching the re-runs in England and I love Shark, can’t believe it was cancelled, pleas, please, please bring it back and I’m within the 18-49 age group that they reckoned didn’t watch it……….

  3. Jeff Millere says

    I too feel like other viewers of “shark”…it was a fabulous show, with Great writers and wonderfully tallented actors…i would love to see its comeback…beats yhe hell out of most of the other boring shows…BRING SHARK BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • DADDY G says

      james woods was great as a con artist attorney,that’s what made his show great. thee show had a great cast. I rather watch shark than that new boring tuesday lawyer show. cbs all you have is csi, five-o, mentalist, criminal minds and blue bloods,when you cancel these shows , you have nothing. cbs will be going down hill.
      You need to bring back shark, cold case, without a trace and numbers.

  4. Mr.C says

    I cannot belive that they cancelled this show, omg. I have 22 years and i love this show !!Please bring back the show , Seabastian Stark aka Shark is greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! I hate fwe friends who are watching it aswell, they all have around 20 years, please bring it back!

  5. STEPHEN says

    Was wondering why it was cancled? Would like to see it come back. Just got done watching “True Beliver”. James Woods you”re the best!

  6. LINDA says

    I’M JUST STUMPED THAT A NETWORK WOULD TAKE A SHOW OFF THE AIR THAT IS GREAT AS SHARK!! I CAN TELL YOU WITH SO MANY COPS SHOWS AND THEN SOOOOOOOO MANY STUPID SHOWS ON THE AIR THAT WHEN SHARK CAME ACROSS THE SCREEN…IT WAS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR!! JAMES WOODS BRINGS YOU TO THE STORY AND KEEPS YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT…REALLY THE ENTIRE CAST KEPT YOU INTERESTED AND WANTING MORE. I SEE THE REASON FOR CANCELING THE SHOW WAS THE 18-49 AGE GROUP NOT WATCHING IT ENOUGH. I’M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT I’M IN THAT GROUP AND NO ONE ASKED ME IF I LIKED THE SHOW ….SO I WAS WONDERING WHERE THAT INFO CAME FROM.
    THIS SHOW HAD ALL IT NEEDED TO BECOME ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS ON TV TODAY. THEY HAD WONDERFUL ACTORS AND CAST, AND THE WRITERS WERE WONDERFUL..I LOVED THE WRITING. SO NOW I ASK FOR SOMEONE TO PUT THIS BACK ON THE AIR!! WITH ALL OF THE STUPID PROGRAMS NETWORKS PUT ON THE AIR IS MORE THAN I CAN TAKE…I MEAN SOMETIMES I WONDER “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING” OR “ARE YOU SERIOUS”.
    MY HUSBAND AND I ARE DIABLED AND TV IS OUR SCENE TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD…SO WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE PICK THIS SHOW UP AND CONTINUE ON WITH IT AND MAKE IT THE BEST SHOW I KNOW IT CAN AND WOULD BE.

  7. Liwaz says

    Me too… I mean, I watched both the seasons twice now and I still wanna watch it and hey they said the show skew older people and thats not true.. I am 19 and 14 people I know liked the show and they are all in 19 – 24 age group. It is sad that good shows like this get cancelled. The hard truth is that majority of us watch lame shows thereby giving them more viewer stats and in the end the loser goes home, and sometimes good shows like shark fall into to this trap, because at the end of the day its just business and what brings more money stays, the rest leaves..

  8. Devin w says

    I love this show. Just Recently a friend showed it to me. After finding out it got cancelled after just two seasons I was blown away. I really wish it could re-air. I know as the article says it failed to attract younger viewers, but I’m 20 years old and find this show to be one of my favorite’s. Stark is awesome!

  9. TJF says

    This was a riveting show, because of James Woods, who was PERFECT for the role….and he also had a good supporting cast and excellent writers. I was so sorry that it went off the air…one of the channels should put it on again, just like Centric is doing for Miami Vice re-runs, which I never miss.

  10. moeursalen says

    I never saw the originals–I”m watching the re-runs. James Woods is awesome, and so are the other actors. It’s typical they’d move his show aside to dumb things down to please the Dancing with the Stars crowd.

  11. Doris says

    I agree. I want the show back! This series was one of the best. I cannot understand why shows that are so stupid stay on the air when good ones like this discontinue. Hello!

  12. Jennifer says

    I too love the show! I can’t believe a show with such great story lines, great actors/actresses and a great ending to each episode could possibly be cancelled. Get rid of some of the other shows, don’t get me wrong, I too loved CSI, but SHARK blows them away!

    I am 37 years old and I WANT SHARK BACK ON THE AIR!!!!!

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