Without a Trace: CBS Cancels FBI Show, No Season Eight

Without a TraceCall the FBI. There’s another victim of the cancellation axe over at CBS. The network has cancelled long-running crime drama Without a Trace.

First airing in 2002, Without a Trace follows an FBI team that’s tasked with finding missing persons. Each episode follows the search of an individual and tracks the time that they’ve been missing. The series stars Anthony LaPaglia, Poppy Montgomery, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Enrique Murciano, Roselyn Sanchez, and Eric Close.

The series averaged 15.09 million viewers in its first year on the air and grew to a high of 18.68 million for season three. The show’s ratings have declined over the years and season seven has fallen to about 12.2 million. Like many shows on CBS, the drama tends to skew older.

As part of cost-cutting efforts, CBS put Without a Trace and Cold Case on the bubble this time around. Both Jerry Bruckheimer series have become expensive over the years and the network insisted on cuts in salaries and production costs. Both have had an upsurge in the ratings lately but CBS was leaning towards renewing Cold Case.

And then, Cold Case was renewed for season seven at the beginning of this week. As of Sunday, it was looking possible that Without a Trace could still return for a midseason run but the network has now decided against it. Costs and an abundance of new and cheaper shows are contributing factors.

Coincidentally, the series finale of Without a Trace airs tonight. The episode is called “Undertow” and revolves around a man who disappears after a late night dive. Oscar winner Martin Landau (Mission Impossible) guest stars as the father of Jack (LaPaglia) and Danny (Murciano) and Elena (Sanchez) take their relationship to another level.

Canceled and renewed TV show

341 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Angel says

    I love Without a Trace. I DVR’d it every week. A big thumbs down for CBS. Let’s be honest, reality TV is not entertaining and it’s not even reality. CBS, bring back Without a Trace!

  2. Sandra says

    I HATE reality shows!! Yuck!!!
    I watch A&E, USA & even SyFy. And I’m “baby boomer age”.
    If they keep taking good shows off like Without a Trace & Cold Case, I’ll resort more to movie channels!!!!

  3. Diane says

    I looked forward to this show every week. I can’t believe they took it off. My daughter and sister also watched it regularly. I would so much like to see it come back. I hope someone out there is listening! It had some real substance to it not just another sitcom or ridiculous reality show.

  4. HELEN says

    I can’t believe they cancelled Without A Trace and left on that horrible show Numbers which I attempted to watch but found the acting and story line appalling. How about getting rid of some of the horrendous reality shows? CBS needs to start getting in touch with it’s viewers. I am tuning to other channels more and more.

  5. Trinity says

    Bring back Without a Trace. CBS has missed the mark – again. As commercial television fights for ratings, network execs continue to delete thought provoking shows, focusing on mindless reality programming. To whom are they listening? Obviously not adult audiences – most programming is geared to 18-26 yr old viewers. Either ABC, FOX or NBC should pick this show up and insert it into a slot that is lagging in ratings at CBS.

  6. Pat MacBride says

    I cannot believe that Without a Trace was canceled. Another network should definetly pick this up. If ratings went down, they can be revived! It was one of the only shows that crossed gender and age. Put it back on, please!!

  7. Bonnie says

    They should have left Without a Trace on and taken off some of the immoral shows of such as The Bachlor etc….These shows do nothing for the moral of people…..
    To think they just quite in the middle of story lines…I wanted to see what happened to Martin and his girlfriend…now I will never know…

  8. E. Borow says

    I am sick and tired of all these realitiy shows. I know they are cheaper to produce, but I resent the fact that they take priority to quality shows like, Without A Trace. They made a big mistake in cancelling this show and I think they should reconsider their actions. Netflix and the cable stations are becoming more and more desirable and by the way, are receiving many more emmy’s than the standard channels. WAKE UP CBS.

  9. Lisa C says

    I think it is time to send the Networks a message. Stop watching CBS,NBC and ABC. Subscribe to Netflix or watch TNT for shows such and The Closer or A&E The Cleaner, Lifetime – Army Wives; USAnetwork – Burn Notice and Psych.

    We are sick to death of reality shows and cartoon shows. Get real networks! There are other people that watch TV besides the 14-24 year old demographic.

  10. Faye McMillan says

    I can’t believe CBS cancelled this show. It was one of the better ones on tv. Get rid of some of that other stuff that still on.

  11. Barbara Smith says

    Without a Trace was edgy, sexy, thought provoking and had a conscience. Doesn’t it just figure that CBS would cancel it in favor of insipid reality shows?

    What better to put in the former Leno timeslot than a sophisticated drama with actual story lines and intriguing characters??


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