The Starter Wife: USA TV Show Cancelled, No Season Two

The Starter WifeFollowing a successful mini-series, USA Network assumed that viewers would want to watch a weekly version of The Starter Wife. After 10 episodes, it seems the numbers weren’t big enough and the TV show’s been cancelled.

The Starter Wife mini-series stars Debra Messing as Molly Kagan, a Hollywood wife/mother who has it all. Her life is turned upside down when her studio exec husband, Kenny (Peter Jacobson, later David Alan Basche), dumps her for a young starlet. Within hours, Molly’s social circle discards her and all that she knows is in turmoil. She slowly rebuilds her life and, by the time the TV show begins, Molly’s on her way to thriving. Castmembers include Judy Davis, Chris Diamantopoulos, Joe Mantegna, Stephen Moyer, Anika Noni Rose, Novella Nelson, Aden Young, Bethany Whitmore, Miranda Otto, Trilby Glover, Hailee Denham, Gigi Edgley, Hart Bochner, Danielle Nicolet, Reggie Austin, James Black, Brielle Barbusca, and Daniel Gerroll.

The mini-series of Starter Wife kicked off on May 31, 2007 and ran for six installments. The premiere attracted 5.4 million viewers with over half of those being in the coveted 18-49 demographic. Based on the numbers, USA announced plans to make Starter Wife a regular series. Unfortunately, the October 2007 announcement coincided with the writers strike and nothing happened for several months.

Should The Starter Wife have been cancelled?

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That delay may have been particularly costly for any momentum the show could have had. The Starter Wife TV show debuted a year later, on October 10, 2008. The viewership was much less smaller. Though the show’s season average of 2.4 million is impressive for a cable audience, USA’s other series have been attracting more than double that number.

Despite Messing’s being featured in USA’s current “Characters Welcome” campaign, the network has opted not to renew Starter Wife for a second season.

A statement from USA reads, “The Starter Wife was an award-winning, critical and creative success. We were thrilled with its performance as a miniseries, expanded and enriched it through an additional 10 episodes and reached what we all feel is a satisfying conclusion.”

Unfortunately, viewers may not agree. How will their new life in San Francisco affect Devon and Liz? What will happen to Joan and her troubles with the law? Is there any hope for Molly and Zach’s relationship? We’ll likely never know.

Canceled and renewed TV show

160 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. JJ says

    I just googled “Starter Wife” to see when the new season would begin and find that it has been cancelled. I have been waiting for a show that I truly enjoyed watching to return, only to find out it was cancelled months ago. I am very disappointed in your network!!

  2. Meg says

    What are the USA “powers that be” thinking???!!! I’ve been waiting impatiently for one of my favorite shows to come back. The Starter Wife was a “can’t miss” show for me. I adored all of the characters and am extremely disappointed. If anyone at the USA network actually decides to grow a brain and get a clue they would BEG every single one of the cast members to begin filming new episodes immediately!!!!!

  3. Emily says

    Debra Messing was wonderful in this. What? Too different? Too off the beaten path? Why can’t a show that breaks from the formulaic pack be given a reasonable amount of time to prove itself? The network didn’t give word of mouth enough time to create the audience that this treat could have had. Shame on you, USA!!!

  4. Lisa says

    I can’t believe they cancelled The Starter Wife! It was one of the best new shows last season and it was full of potential. I’m sorry USA missed this boat!!!

  5. Sylvia Moon says

    Sorry, to see the show cancelled. I was just looking it up to see when the new season was starting. I wish you would cancel other shows that are terrible.

  6. Alahna says

    I am so sad. I knew “Starter Wife” was suppose to be airing soon, usaully around fall time. And I googled “Starter Wife” to find out it has been cancelled. Why? The show was great and wonderful and it let all of us hanging at the end. I was so happy when I finally found a good show that mad me laugh, I would spend my Friday evenings watching “Starter Wife.” Now, I have nothing to look forward to on Friday’s.

  7. Heather says

    WHAT! My friend, my sister, and I LOVED this show. This was a great show and my husband would watch it too. Debra was great as was her friends (cast). Maybe laugh out loud! I was pleased USA wasn’t showing the other repetive medical, CSI (fill in the blank city), cop, shows that all the other networks keep trying to perfect. Plus, where is the other USA show with the girl who met the shrink who sent her back in time to fix her past. Don’t tell me, cancelled! UGH!

  8. Mikaela says

    I’m downright pissed off that it isn’t coming back!!!!!!!!! I love Debra Messing, and this show was so perfect for her. I loved it. I hate it when networks pull a show before we have closure as an audience! VERY ANNOYING!

  9. KIMI says


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