For the third week in a row, FOX has pulled yet another of its new shows from the airwaves. Vanished is missing in action. Is it gone for good? Will fans be left hanging?
Vanished debuted on Monday, August 21, 2006 and the premise went like this: Sara Collins (Joanne Kelly), the beautiful young wife of prominent Georgia Senator Jeffrey Collins (John Allen Nelson), mysteriously vanishes. As the family and the FBI search for her, a myriad of secrets begin to unfold, nothing is as it seems, and most everyone becomes a suspect. The ongoing drama also starred Gale Harold (whose character was killed in episode eight), Rebecca Gayheart, Ming-Na, John Patrick Amedori and Christopher Egan.
The series debuted to approximately 6 million households (a 5.6 rating), trounced by repeats on competing network ABC. Vanished was shown for seven episodes on Monday nights. Like many FOX shows, Vanished’s schedule was then interrupted (never good news for a serial drama) by Fox airing games of the World Series. Fox reworked their schedule in the interim and moved Vanished to Friday nights. It returned on November 3rd and two episodes have aired in that timeslot.
The last episode on November 10th delivered its lowest ratings to date (less than 4.1 million households), putting it in fourth place for the night. It’s no surprise that this has caused Fox to pull Vanished for the remainder of November sweeps (the month when audience numbers determine how much a network can charge for advertising). Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy takes Vanished’s place on November 17th while the previously scheduled Bruce Almighty movie will fill the slot on November 24.
Though FOX hasn’t said that Vanished is officially cancelled as yet, its days are certainly numbered. The ratings are really low and aren’t getting better. In fact, USA Today ran an article in October reporting that Vanished producers had been told to wrap up the storyline by December.
Vanished is officially scheduled to return on Friday, December 1st (after sweeps have ended) at 8pm. But for how long? Its probable that Fox is just biding its time until the return of its powerhouse shows American Idol and 24 in early 2007. Hopefully, fans will get to see the Sara Collins mystery resolved before that happens.