NBC Cancels ‘Awake’ And Three Freshman Comedies

Published 3 years ago by

Jason Isaacs Awake NBC1 NBC Cancels Awake And Three Freshman Comedies

This one is rough. While clearing room to accommodate its hot new slate of programming guaranteed to last at least a few weeks into the new season, NBC informed everyone that one of its better shows, Awake, will not be renewed for a second season after its May 24 finale.

Honestly, it was an uphill battle for the series, which had trouble attracting a wide audience since its premiere back in early March. Since then, the ratings hovered around the problematic, but not disastrous, level. Even though a slight uptick in viewership was seen with ‘Say Hello to my Little Friend‘ – which surely is attributable to the appearance of Alias star Kevin Weisman – there would be no fourth quarter comeback for Jason Isaacs or series creator Kyle Killen.

For his part, Killen bravely took to Twitter and began addressing the condolences paid out for the loss of his program, to which he responded pleasantly enough – though likely wondering where the Community protesters and online advocates were when he needed them the most. Naturally, when a program develops a small, but ardent following, questions arise as to where the series might be transferred, so as to continue its storyline. While Awake could easily fit into the schedule of many different networks, Killen responded to such queries by stating:

“answers: no, don’t see us taking awake anywhere else. yes, the season finale is a really satisfying way to go out. our best EP + penguin.”

Still, having Killen say that immediately following Awake‘s dismissal doesn’t mean that when Netflix inevitably comes sniffing around, he and his team won’t be thinking twice.

Another, more positive way to look at such disappointing news comes from the “satisfying” end Killen mentioned, which may serve to appropriately cap off what will go down in the annals of television history as a miniseries – similar to how FX’s superlative P.I. series Terriers is looked at after its own dissatisfying lack of renewal. That may turn out to be the silver lining: Now fans may look back on the series with fondness, instead of remembering the good seasons before things possibly went awry.

Dylan Minnette and Jason Isaacs Awake NBC NBC Cancels Awake And Three Freshman Comedies

In addition to Awake, NBC announced that three of its freshman comedies would also be canceled. First up was the little-watched, but critically, praised Bent starring Amanda Peet and Best Friends Forever, which seemed to have had a lifespan shorter than most houseflies. Also on the chopping block was the heavily retooled, semi-autobiographical sitcom Are You There, Chelsea? starring Laura Prepon and Chelsea Handler. Given the difficulty surrounding Chelsea prior to it even airing, its cancellation comes as little surprise.

For fans of Awake, there are still two more episodes until the series ends. Knowing the story stops with ‘Turtles All the Way Down,’ might help to add more meaning to the episode (and season as a whole), rather than leave the audience waiting for the other shoe to drop a few weeks down the line.

Although it won’t change things, those who are capable and interested should tune in and watch the final episodes of Awake, an interesting, complex and well-acted bit of television.


Awake will continue to air on NBC, Thursday nights @10pm until May 24.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. Nooooooooooooo!!!!! ‘Awake,’ the greatest written television show ever, has been cancelled due to poor ratings. I hate you NBC! And shame on the American Public for their poor tatse in television! Graggle, graggle!!!!

    • Americans are generally stupid when it comes to choosing their favorite TV shows. The most imaginative and engaging shows always seem to attract the least viewers. “Awake” has been added to a long line of imaginative and good television shows that our fellow stupid Americans didn’t want to watch.

      • Too much thinking involved *shrugs* what can we really do…

      • Oh yes, it has to be nationality, because making those kinds of generalizations really make you sound smart. It can’t be factors like advertising, time slot, or the format of the show (episodic vs. serial), nah, none of that, it’s because Americans are so dumb…

        I find the concept of the show to be very interesting, but honestly, I haven’t seen a single commercial for it. I didn’t even realize it was already on the air… I’m sure that has nothing to do with why it’s not doing well in the ratings… Nah, your theory must be correct… ;-)

    • I agree. I HATE NBC for cancelling this show. Awake is the only new show of late that requires a few brain cells to enjoy it. How refreshing it was to watch this show, if only for a few weeks. I was so excited to see each new episode every Thursday night. Why do these networks give up so easily? Have they forgotten the other highly successful shows that started out with lower ratings, only to take off in the second season, or are they just so afraid of a little risk? I can’t tell you how sick I am of the no-end-in-site Reality garbage. It is mindless drivel, totally lacking in entertainment value. Awake had it all: great acting, plot, movement, intelligence and entertainment. I only pray that someone has the sense to pick it up, for example USA or TNT. They at least understand the value of a good drama. I will be watching them.

  2. Completely shocked and disappointed to see ‘awake’ cancelled. It was perfectly cast and was so well written. My whole family across two states would discuss each episode for days!!! Why are all the intelligent shows cancelled and mindless crap like big bang theory is renewed????? Ridiculous

    • Because all the troglodytes can follow Big Bang, it doesn’t require use of the brain.

      Then again calling them troglodytes is wrong, just people wanting something to watch at the end of the day in the trailer park.


    • Agreed! We talked about this all week in the college library where I work — students, librarians, custodians, faculty. All ages. Great show not supported by its network. Priorities all wrong. I’m very disappointed.

  3. This is unfortunate, but I think part of the problem was that the casual viewer might not pick up on the blue/yellow filter scheme – In other words, scenes were shot in his son’s world with a blue filter, while his wife’s world was shot with a yellow filter. That’s a handy bit of info to keep the players straight without a scorecard, but might not be obvious to someone watching while doing something else.

    I also think some elements of the story line may have taken too long to play out for some people’s need for instant gratification. For example, the conspiracy is just now starting to make sense after 10 episodes. I’m willing to wait, but I’m afraid there are many others who would sooner drop the show than invest in a full season.

    I guess this goes to the heart of some of the other comments. The crowd that wants to be entertained with an intelligent show is suffering because of the cell-phone-addicted Facebook crowd. I truly hope this series has some incarnation beyond the next two episodes.

  4. These networks need to get their act together. I am going to have a hard time getting attached to any show untill the second season or so. The major networks cancel shows I have invested a lot of time into. Its simply not worth getting attached to story and characters to only have them cancelled less than a year later.

    • I was going to say that the rub is that by not investing in a show you’re ensuring its cancellation…but now I realize that shows I’d chew off my arm before watching twice are the ones that get supported. Anyone actually watch Witney? For example.

  5. I tried awake for a few eps but it ultimately lost me. Isaacs was great but he couldn’t carry the show by himself. The rest of the cast was just meh, didn’t really care for any of them.

  6. What the hell? Bent and BFF were given no shot at survival even thought they were the 2 best sitcoms NBC has launched in years! Instead of wasting time trying to develop instant hits, why not put a little marketing into the shows you have that are critically acclaimed NBC? Idiots. I actually like Whitney and Up All Night, But they are not on par with Bent and BFF.

    • Bent and BFF were awful; I couldn’t get into them. I wish Whitney got cancelled, too.

  7. NBC you suck. If you are going to decide to end a show before it even airs it’s final episode, you should at least give viewers the decency to stop the storyline as a finale instead of leaving anyone hanging. TV is so disappointing anymore. It’s not just NBC it’s ever channel I’ve ever watched. Guess I’ll stick with the news.

  8. This is tragic. The acting and plot kept me on the edge of my seat every week.

  9. Fact: NBC has no taste in good entertainment.

  10. Download The Latest Awake Episodes here

  11. we loved AWAKE. so sad to see it go. it was creative, emotional, and a unique story. thanks for all the people who put their hearts and souls into creating this show!

  12. I LOVED Awake. I think it’s one of the best shows in a long time. Acting, writing and directing. I think part of the issue is starting the show in March- what do they expect? Rerun the episodes over the summer and pick it up
    In the fall. Even the mid series comedies like Bent and BFFs were decent -and better than some shows that weren’t canceled that started last fall- you gotta give it some time! I am sad.

  13. I just started watching this show through hulu. When I first heard about it I wasn’t excited but when I began watching I was hooked!!! I wish Netflix would pick up Awake! I hear they are interested in picking up cancelled shows – fingers crossed!

  14. This is so disappointing! Every time I get into a new show it gets cancelled.so much time invested for nothing. even if it is going to be a great ending like they say it’s just going to make it more frustrating.I wish they would take on demand viewing into account for ratings because i can’t be in front of the tv every Thursday at 9 but I have seen every episode.I’m sure I’m not the only one in that boat. NOT COOL NBC!!

  15. They did the same with Kings a few years back. A thought provoking show that had potential to become even more complex. I love Awake, but usually watch it on hulu.com a day or two later as my partner watches Person of Interest (which is also being cancelled). I wonder if they consider online viewers…

  16. NBC really makes be want to ride a goat into the halls of headquarters and head butt every single executive. I get it that rating are what counts but you’ve kill killed 2 of a lot of peoples favorite shows. Awake and Heroes. You do know Lost started with a very small following with the 1st couple seasons?

  17. I watched it all. It was great. I still think it should get at LEAST 4 more episodes. I watch almost very show on NBC (The Office being my favorite). I also watched Grimm. Grimm was surprisingly “good” towards the end of the season, BUT HOW IN THE WORLD DOES GRIMM GET RENEWED AND NOT AWAKE?! I also have watched community all three seasons. The first season was funny, The second Season was HISTERICAL, and the third season had 2 good episodes and sucked. I know about all the Chevy and Dan Hammond crap, but HOW DOES COMMUNITY GET RENEWED AND NOT AWAKE?! I know the JJ Abrams show is coming but seriously I think if Awake just had a different time slot it would have gotten more views. EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT 10 PM SHOW HAS BEEN MOVED OR CANCALLED, perfect example prime suspect and this. This should be on ESPN’s COME ON MAN!

  18. Awake was the only show worth watching on NBC. Can’t believe it got cancelled. Hopefully Netflix scoops it up like it scooped up Arrested Development.

  19. While NBC deserves some blame, (I’m still salty over the cancellation of Life a few years ago) the vast majority of the blame falls on us. People with little to no attention span who can’t follow a good story to some sort of climax. It seems that many would much rather have the instant and midless entertainment offered by a reality show than something that requires a vested interest by the viewer. It’s very easy to watch a show that doesn’t require thought or the ability to remember what happened a week or two ago. I pan NBC for not having enough faith to back a good show but I also pan my fellow viewers for not being able to appreciate good TV. So… back to shows about people who are famous for being famous and mediocre comedies with laugh tracks to remind me of when something is supposed to be funny.

  20. Didn’t know it was the series finale until after I watched it.

  21. I am so upset over this! What an amazing show that makes you think and pay attention to all of the details, instead of mindlessly staring at ridiculous people looking for their 15 min of fame. I am so tired of all of my favorite shows being cancelled well before their time!- This was in a horrible time slot and not given a chance. NBC is terrible about pulling the few good shows that they have. Maybe they shouldn’t even try to have a well-written show on their network and just stick with reality shows and mind-numbing sitcoms, because we all know that’s what they’re looking for and what will be renewed in the end.

  22. I finally find a great show, with creativity and originality and it’s canceled! I’m still looking forward to more, yes I know it’s gone, but I can’t accept it…There’s no other show like this one..If it started earlier it may have had a lot more viewers. This is a mistake. I hope you guys there give it another shot…There’s so much room for more chapters!

  23. I think this is one I’d the dumbest ideas that NBC has had yet. This was an amazing show that posted many psychological questions about the human mind. The ending was confusing and needs to be clarified. One of the reasons it may not have been as popular as expected is because it is not known to many. I only saw it on Hulu plus myself and it was by accident when I had nothing else to do. If the show was advertised better, the only direction the show can go is up.

  24. There’s little I can add that has not already been said.
    Bad or poorly developed marketing.
    A discerning demographic, one not caught up in the instant gratification.
    A demographic not likely to rush out and buy any old product peddled during the ad breaks.
    Boardroom decisions based on the “Quick Buck” philosophy.
    Boardroom decisions based on its members who are clarely ill-equipped to make such decisions for any reason other than the Q.B.S.

  25. This is the final straw for me! I will NEVER watch another show on NBC, because it doesn’t do ME any good to get attached to a show, only to have NBC cancel it (never fails!), and then suffer from the loss. NBC’s been struggling for years now in the ratings, and it’s their own fault. Every time they get a show that’s even halfway decent, they can it before giving it a fair chance (Awake does NOT fall into this category, as it was SUPERB! Fresh, different, and best of all NOT another reality show!) NBC would do good to look at their history. Seinfeld, one of their best and most popular shows didn’t do so well when it first started out. But NBC gave it time, and eventually it found it’s audience. It saddens me that other, different but just as good series, will never get the same opportunity, because they sure as **** deserve it!

  26. I just checked the web to try and find where I could purchase AWAKE season 1. I didn’t know until just now that the series was cancelled! I am so upset. This was a great show! Well written and great actors especially the lead actor. Why do we still have the stupid reality shows where each person is as stupid as the next and we cancel the great shows? Dad gum it! I am mad! I still want to buy AWAKE season 1!

  27. Every time I find a TV series I really like and think is intelligent and challenging, it gets cancelled.
    So awake is now gone…making room for more trash TV that only morons will watch.
    No wonder TV is in trouble….

  28. I finally got the courage to check to see if Awake would air again because I didn’t want to be disappointed…well that hope went down the drain. Awake was just brilliant! So different from the usual. I often wonder what is actually used to rate programs because they certainly have not included my opinion – nor anyone I have ever known. So it leaves me to wonder if the rating system functions accurately, for it does not include ALL viewers…perhaps even most. And as such…do they poll the same people over and over again? Neither would yield a true story. So it appears there are a great deal of phantom poll-ees out there, an invisible source used by all poll-ers.