May 1, 2020
"The Millers" dies a brutal death, "A to Z" tries to climb out of the grave
The first non-newcomer of the season has just met the axe. The Millers will not be allowed to continue its second season despite the addition of Sean Hayes, who apparently didn’t pull any new viewers to the show beyond his immediate family.
CBS will pay for only one more episode to be produced beyond those already in the can, although that may be entirely due to contract technicalities and not a guarantee that any additional episodes will ever actually make the air.
The Millers hasn’t been a complete disaster behind 2 Broke Girls on Monday nights; NBC and FOX would both kill for 6.5 million total viewers to suffer through any of their sitcoms, even if the demos were on the weak side. But CBS has higher standards, especially with The Millers being seen as a drag on freshman hit Scorpion in the following timeslot.
Most critics and analysts were surprised to see The Millers back at all this year, although they were underestimating how important it was to CBS that the show was produced by CBS Studios. But with The Millers doing even worse than Friends with Better Lives was doing in the post-2 Broke Girls spot last year—and FWBL having been kicked to the curb—the Eye network couldn’t ignore reality any longer.
The Millers is the fifth sitcom to be canceled this season, after Manhattan Love Story, Bad Judge, A to Z, and Selfie. (The only non-sitcom to meet its demise is FOX big-budget reality flop Utopia).
But wait! Is A to Z really dead after all?
The short answer is yes, but you won’t hear it from the lips of anyone involved in the show. First, producer Rashida Jones—who you know and love as Anne on Parks & Recreation—made this appeal to fans:
Then, NBC let star Ben Feldman appear on Late Night with Seth Meyers, which is not something you usually expect after the plug has been pulled. Ben bitched that the Thursday night timeslot was brutal, claiming all the guys were watching football on CBS and all the women were watching Scandal on ABC… and he also said NBC would totally let the show start making new episodes again if ratings improved before the fatal episode 13 aired.
Rashida also complained about the Scandalous competition:
I love you, Rashida, but bullshit. You can’t hold your Bad Judge lead-in, and forget Scandal—you’re losing in your timeslot more than 2:1 in the demo against major disappointment The McCarthys (nearly 3:1 in overall viewers). Hell, you’re not even beating Gracepoint over on FOX, and that show is an unmitigated bomb.
Selfie Side Note:
At first, ABC planned to air all the Selfies shot to date before allowing the show to die gracefully after 13 episodes. Now, the Alphabet network is bashing its pretty little head in with a shovel and feeding it to the sharks. A rerun of Shark Tank will be taking its 8/7 Tuesday night spot this week, then a Dancing With the Stars clip show, then holiday programming. After that, who knows, but no more Selfie.