Swingtown: CBS (Finally) Officially Cancels the 1970s TV Show

Grant Show in SwingtownAt the start of today’s television press tour session, CBS president Nina Tassler announced something that we’ve all known for months. Swingtown isn’t coming back for a second season.

Swingtown follows three Chicago families in 1970s era suburbia as they explore new freedoms and shifting moral values. The series stars performers like Molly Parker, Jack Davenport, Grant Show, Lana Parrilla, Josh Hopkins, Miriam Shor, Shanna Collins, Aaron Christian Howles, Brittany Robertson, Michael Rady, Nick Benson, and Kate Norby.

The series was initially scheduled to debut during the regular 2007-08 season but the premiere was delayed until Summer 2008. Critical and viewer reception for Swingtown was mixed and the pilot debuted to fewer than 8.6 million viewers and a 2.5/7 rating/share in the 18-49 demographic. Subsequent episodes’ ratings dropped from there. After seven episodes, CBS moved Swingtown to Friday nights where viewership plunged to a low of 2.82 million.

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Though the series’ ratings were too low to warrant a season two renewal on the network, the CBS studio tried to find another home for Swingtown. In the end, the best they could do was to make a deal with Bravo to rerun the first season. Execs for the cable net made it clear however that they weren’t interested in funding a second season.

In November, Show told TV Guide, “Yeah, unfortunately [it’s over]. I mean, they haven’t released me and they haven’t made any official statements yet, but our contracts are all up in December. They’d have to have us back working before then, and I don’t think it’s possible to do that.”

Tassler has long been an advocate for the series and initially gave Swingtown a greenlight. Today, she made the show’s fate official when she announced, “No, we’re not going back to Swingtown. We were extremely proud of the execution — [it] ended up on a half dozen top 10 lists in 2008.”

She continued, “At the end of the day the show was well executed, it was well received, the performances were great, the writing was great. It was a risk, we took it, and we’re proud of it.” The exec blamed the show’s performance, at least in part, to the writers strike.

Unfortunately, there’s been no talk of giving the series an ending of some kind. Does the show need one?

Canceled and renewed TV show

71 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Pikachu says

    You’re right about Swingtown attracting 2.82 million viewers, a new low, on Friday nights. What was Swingtown attracting in the 18-49 demographic on Friday nights?

  2. Kristie says

    this is so stupid. CBS sucks. This show was great. Who puts a show on Friday night during the summer. really its like they were trying to make it fail. If they pulled their heads out of their butts and looked at the views the show got online when people could actually watch the show they would see it was more popular then tv ratings show. I know just myself I have watched the entire season online 4 times since the show has ended. Waiting and hoping that one day I will get some closer….

  3. Lady M says

    Damn! I just saw this about Swingtown being cancelled. We had just about given up on network tv–we are so sick of reality tv, the thought of it makes us nauseous. Swingtown was great; we were little kids in the 70s, but it was fun to take this look at how things were for a lot of adults and families back then. Things we didn’t get to experience. The writing was great, the acting was fabulous, and we looked forward to it every week.

    I’m with the rest of you that are hoping some other network will realize what a gem they really have in Swingtown and get it back on the air. Hell, even a cable network show would be great–and given the ‘censorship’ might even be preferable!

  4. jamie says

    this sucks !!!!!! i really enjoyed this show and not because it “reminds” me of days when i was growin up because im only 27 it was just a great show. i had something GOOD to come home from work and watch on t.v. Now we’ll never know what happened with trina and her pregnancy and who’s baby it was !!!!!!!!!!!

  5. M.S.U says

    Uugghh! I just found this show- suggested to me by Netflix-and I LOVE it! Gee- maybe we’ll have yet ANOTHER reality show instead. Who are these “TV executives”? There was no promotion for this show that I noticed- what do they expect?! They’re really clueless.

  6. says

    Swingtown & Mad Men,, 2 of my favortie TV. Finally some quality Tv series/ I am so sick of reality TV.
    Swingtown, was well written, and depicted what the 70″s were all about.
    I can’t believe they cancelled this, it is upsetting to see what this country watches and they cancel quality TV. Maybe if they had promoted more? It is surely not due to the writing or acting. Sorry to see it go, I am very disappointed…Maybe some other network will have the balls to air something of quailty!

  7. Blueeyes1239 says

    This was a show unlike any other on TV and had a great group of actors! Normally it is hard to find anything new and exciting on TV during the summer, but not last summer and that was because of Swingtown. Hope someone finally comes to their senses and puts this shoe back on the air with some new epsiodes. Cable should jump at the chance! Just imagine how much more fun they could make it since they do not have to hold back as much. Come on HBO this can be your next big hit!!!

  8. R.L.T says

    I’m so sad this show isn’t coming back…I’ve waited all year long in hopes a new season would come and now nothing!!! What gives??? This was the bet show ever and had CBS promoted it better it would have been a hit. I found out about through word of mouth and after 1 episode I was hooked. CBS needs to stop running the same old tired shows and add some new flare to their station. Thanks for putting a damper on my summer CBS!!!

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