At 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.
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?
Image courtesy CBS.