The great machine that is the Chicago political arena will no longer be part of the Starz line-up, as it was announced by the pay-cable network that the Kelsey Grammer-led drama, Boss, has been canceled following two seasons of less-than-stellar ratings.
Unfortunately, the series had low ratings from the start, garnering just 659,000 total viewers for its initial premiere in 2011. Despite the additions of familiar faces such as Sanaa Lathan (AVP, Contagion), rapper-turned actor T.I. and Glee alum Jonathan Groff, season 2 saw those numbers drop even further with only 317,000 tuning in for the August premiere. In the end, the series saw a season high of 440,000 viewers, which is a far cry from the 1.25 million viewers who tuned in during the first season of Starz’ period drama, Magic City.
Normally, when a series is met with such low numbers, awards and accolades can often help stave off cancellation. For its part, Boss managed to nab a Golden Globe nomination for best drama series, while Grammer picked up the award for best actor. The show failed to garner any award recognition outside of the Golden Globes – a fact that likely guided Starz toward its decision to cancel.
The network released a statement discussing the cancellation of the series, which said:
“After much deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to not proceed with [a third season of] Boss. We remain proud of this award-winning show, its exceptional cast and writers, and are grateful to Kelsey Grammer, [creator] Farhad Safinia and our partners at Lionsgate TV.”
Naturally, this news leaves Boss’ admittedly small, but devoted fanbase without a true sense of closure following the end of season 2. The finale, which aired in October, saw Mayor Tom Kane (Grammer) once more regain control of Chicago, while managing to keep the secret of his dementia under wraps. While that served as a somewhat divisive (and familiar) ending to the season, it did little to address the overall plotline, not to mention the myriad subplots that have sprung up during the series’ 18-episode run – a fact which has the producers talking about the possibility of a two-hour movie that would offer a more concrete conclusion to the rise and fall of Mayor Tom Kane.
While many fans would undoubtedly enjoy seeing the series come to a proper and conclusive end, such an endeavor would involve considerable effort as new deals would have to be struck with the cast and creators – many of whom, like Grammer, have already moved on to other projects. The situation is reminiscent of HBO’s sudden dismissal of Deadwood in 2006, which led fans to cling to the rumor of a television movie/finale that never came to fruition.
To some extent, Boss was always the odd man out at Starz. And while it did its best to throw in certain elements that were more in tune with the rest of the network’s programming, the dark, Shakespearean-influenced drama may not have fit in with what Starz president Chris Albrecht described as the network’s intent to deliver “premium TV-flavored popcorn” – or television dramas with a far-reaching, international appeal like its flagship drama, Spartacus.
As many are likely aware, Spartacus will be ending its run beginning this January with Spartacus: War of the Damned. And with Boss ending, that leaves Magic City as the network’s sole returning series. This fact paves the way for upcoming programs such as Da Vinci’s Demons from Batman Begins and Man of Steel scribe David Goyer and Black Sails, the Treasure Island prequel from executive producer Michael Bay. Continuing with its approach to reaching the widest audience possible, Starz is also currently working on the sci-fi action series Incursion, from Spartacus creator Stephen S. DeKnight, and Vlad Dracula, which will be developed by comics and Babylon 5 scribe J. Michael Straczynski.
Screen Rant will update you with any news regarding a possible Boss television movie as it is made available.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter