Last spring, CW’s Reaper series was barely renewed for a second season. The series doesn’t exactly fit with the struggling network’s target demographic (young women) but it does have a loyal, core group of fans. The CW opted to renew the series but only for a 13 episode season. They also opted to hold it until midseason.
When Reaper did finally return on March 3rd, the network decided to air it against FOX’s ratings juggernaut, American Idol. The ratings haven’t been great but, all things considered, it’s been performing decently and has looked like it might possibly be renewed. Now, in light of a new deal, it looks like the series’ fate has been sealed.
Reaper is a supernatural comedy that revolves around Sam (Bret Harrison), a slacker whose parents have sold his soul to the devil (Ray Wise). With the help of his friends (Tyler Labine and Rick Gonzalez), he must do Satan’s bidding and recapture escaped souls who wreak havoc on Earth. All of this doesn’t bode well however for Sam’s chances with his attractive co-worker (Missy Peregrym). Other castmembers include Andrew Airlie, Valerie Rae Miller, Donavon Stinson, Christine Willes, Allison Hossack, Ken Marino, Jessica Stroup, Colby Johannson, Michael Ian Black, Lucy Davis, Kandyse McClure, Kyle Switzer, Jill Teed, Marci T. House, Scott Patey, Jack D. Smith, and David Flemming.
The series was one of the most anticipated of the 2007-08 season and garnered some great reviews for its early episodes. Unfortunately, despite a clever premise, the series didn’t become a breakout hit that the network was hoping for. The 18 episode season averaged 2.7 million viewers and a 1.2/3 rating/share of the 18-49 demographic.
Since Reaper returned for season two, the episodes have been averaging 2.25 million viewers and a .9/3 rating/share in the demo. While the numbers are lower than those of last season, they aren’t as bad as they could be, considering the competition. This obviously would make the CW execs’ renew/cancel decision less than cut and dry.
Sign a petitionNow, a new agreement seems to have sealed the show’s fate. Reaper’s creators/executive producers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have just signed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Under the new contract, the pair will develop new projects for the studio as well as join a 20th Century Fox series.
The deal is an exclusive one and calls for the team to leave Reaper which is produced by rival ABC Studios.
Though this doesn’t necessarily mean that Reaper will be cancelled, it looks highly unlikely that the network or ABC Studios would want to continue the moderately-rated show without the creators at the helm.
If the network intends to cancel the series, don’t expect them to announce it anytime soon. They still have eight episodes left to air and admitting that it’s being cancelled would likely hurt their ratings. We’ll likely have to wait to hear their decision until May and the advertiser upfront sessions.
Will the May 26th episode be the show’s last? As it stands now, it looks like Reaper has one foot firmly in the grave.
Image courtesy CW.