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.
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