Why Were Castle and Nashville Canceled? What Happened to Shondaland Block? ABC Boss Says...

Channing Dungey on why your favorite shows got the axe

By Chris Harnick May 17, 2016 5:06 PMTags
Castle, NashvilleABC

Castle and Nashville were unceremoniously canceled to the ire of legions of fans. Why? Because at the end of the day, TV is a business.

ABC's new boss, Channing Dungey, revealed the thinking that went into axing those two beloved dramas in a conference call with press after announcing the network's new schedule.

"In terms of behind the scenes things that were happening on both Castle and Nashville, I think the studios in each case were looking for the best creative and financial ways to make room for the ninth season of Castle and the fifth season of Nashville. They were definitely engaged in a bunch of conversations at the studio level that they felt would set them up for the best of success should they get the order. In terms of what we were discussing primarily on the network side was the best fit for things on the schedule, obviously looking at ratings and our own finances and looking at some of the new development," she told press. "A lot of those decisions really did come down to the wire, which is the difficult thing about these jobs. You have to weigh and measure a lot of different things and at the end of the day it didn't feel that even though both Castle and Nashville were wonderful shows for us and good performers for a long time, that the future for us did not necessarily lie in those shows."

The End of TGIT?! Scandal Is Missing From ABC's New Fall Schedule

As for ABC's other big move—holding Scandal for midseason and putting a new show not from Shonda Rhimes in its place—Dungey said the network was looking to create new hits with the help of established successes.

"Yes we did have to make some adjustments to Scandal for a variety of reasons that had to do with the production schedule and in terms of Still Star-Crossed, it was always intended to be a midseason show. That was a conversation we had with Shonda from the very beginning because it's a big, epic, sweeping period saga and we wanted to make sure we had enough time to produce it in the way it needed to be produced," she said. "That was always intended to be midseason for us. In terms of The Catch, what we really would like to do is have consistency on Thursdays in the midseason so we're going to have Grey's, Scandal and The Catch back in that line-up. And what we also did want to do, as I was saying earlier, the notion of using some of our strongest assets to launch one of our new shows. With Scandal being off in the fall, it seemed to make sense to give a new show a trial run there and see how things fare. If you're playing along at home, Shonda's going to have five shows on the broadcast schedule by the spring so we're going to have to expand beyond Thursdays to accommodate them all."

Do Castle and Nashville's cancellations still sting? Are you stunned by Scandal's absence? Sound off in the comments below!

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