The Cleaner: A&E Series Cancelled; No Season Three for Benjamin Bratt

The CleanerA&E has decided to get rid of another original drama series. After two years on the air, they’re dropping The Cleaner.

In The Cleaner, Benjamin Bratt plays William Banks, a recovering drug addict from Los Angeles. Following the birth of his daughter, Banks made a deal with God that he would end his drug use and help others beat their addictions as well. He and his team of recovering addicts use whatever means necessary to help end others’ addictions. Others in the cast include Grace Park, Esteban Powell, Kevin Michael Richardson, Amy Price-Francis, Liliana Mumy, and Brett DelBuono.

The drama kicked off on July 15, 2008 and attracted 2.58 million viewers with a 1.0 rating in the 18-49 demo. Season one averaged 1.1 million viewers in initial viewings and 4.2 million through multiple airings. A&E boasted that The Cleaner was the network’s highest rated original drama to date among adults 18-49 and 25-54.

Should The Cleaner have been cancelled?

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When the show was renewed for a second season, Bob DeBitetto, A&E’s President and General Manager, said, “The Cleaner has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal audience in its first season… Its authentic, dramatic storytelling combined with superb acting, led by an exceptional performance by Benjamin Bratt, has struck a chord with A&E viewers. It is exactly the sort of high quality, engaging programming that our fans have come to expect.”

Now, following a drop in ratings for season two, A&E has changed its mind about The Cleaner. The second round of episodes concluded on September 15th and, according to THR, the cable channel has decided not to order a third.

No reason was given for the cancellation but A&E typically draws more viewers for cheaper, unscripted programming. The Beast, another A&E drama, was cancelled earlier this year, months prior to star Patrick Swayze’s death.

What do you think? Are you sorry to see The Cleaner go? Was the show any less compelling or watchable in season two?

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603 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Kathy M. says

    Please bring back a show that people can relate to…like I would ever become a millionaire making say TURKEY CALLS! Or any of the shows that are just nobody’s wanting to be a somebody!

  2. Joey says

    Season 1: Marvelous. William Banks seen as a father, husband, team leader, and recovering addict helping other addicts with elaborate & shrewdly-planned surveillance/kidnapping/undercover work.

    Season 2: Appalling. Williams Banks without a wife, children, a real team (Darnell gone, Akani only occasionally tapping in) or apparently any memory of the techniques he used in the first season to catch his ‘clients’ (i.e. he’s now inexplicably reduced to pleading for people to come back with him for treatment, nothing more, nothing less). Increasingly repetitive plots and the lack of diversity in the storyline we saw the first time ’round leave little doubt as to why the ratings plummeted and the show got the ax. It isn’t the actors – they’re on point. It’s the terrible writing and even worse production. Another show prematurely sent to the proverbial waste basket due to bad managerial decisions.

  3. Joey says

    Sorry guys: The second season was abysmal. The producers inexplicably killed off Darnell (why?); created a superfluous and unconvincing tension between William & Melissa leading to a separation which completely altered the (essential) family dynamic of the first season, where we really saw William as a father and husband, not just a junkie fixer with a vigilante bent; scaled back or entirely eliminated the high-tech modus operandi of the first season Banks crew (i.e. coordinating strategic kidnappings, surveillance, and surreptitious sedative injections into their ‘marks’ while liaising with local police and the LA underworld to tap their sources for information) in favor of a rather stale, one-dimensional plea (from William to his junkie ‘clients’) to dry out at his store/backroom, naturally without their cooperation; and increased the progressively more platitudinous narratives (at the beginning and end) by the main character, whose formerly team-oriented persona has given way to a brooding, lone-wanderer type Samaritan approach which does nothing to help the ailing second season along. It’s hard to believe the same show could be so different in its second installment. Why did they tamper with a working formula? We’ll never know.

    The first season was gold. The second was pyrite.

  4. Kathy says

    I too am very sorry that The Cleaner was cancelled & I do what a lot of people are doing, searching to see if has come back on. I loved Benjamin Bratt in this show. He was fantastic. I don’t know who they would get to play William Banks, since Benjamin is now in Private Practice, but the show was & would be great with or without him. ( I would like it with him, myself). There are a lot of shows that don’t draw that big of a following & then with word of mouth they boom. You should have never taken it off the air. I think you lost a great show. Hopefully someone will decide to try again on a different network & then won’t you hate yourself for letting it go…………………?

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