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Update: Defying Gravity Status

By September 16, 2009

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Laura Harris, Ron Livingston, Eyal Podell, and Christina Cox in last week's (I)Defying Gravity(/i).

Laura Harris, Ron Livingston, Eyal Podell, and Christina Cox in last week's Defying Gravity.

© ABC/Sergei Bachlakov

Update: Okay, I goofed. The word had started to go around that Defying Gravity had been canceled, and based on sources that are normally very reliable (including Cynopsis), I rushed to report that news. I certainly wasn't the only one. It turns out, however, that the reports of the show's cancellation were speculation, not fact, based on displacement of the show owing to ABC's season premieres.

The show's publicist, Nicole Marostica, issued a statement that ABC is not giving up on the show and is still figuring out a time slot to air the last 5 episodes of season 1. It's not quite certain when that will be, but ABC made it clear that the show, despite low ratings, was not canceled. (I'm still not sure why this happened, since ABC started the show in August knowing that it would overlap with the new season.)

I apologize for this error in reporting, and as a journalist of twenty years' standing I should have known better than to rush a story for deadline even in the face of reliable sources with confirmation from the network. I apologize for my error.

Original post: After being more or less ignored by just about everybody – including, I hasten to add, myself – it was reported [inaccurately] that the uninvolving futuristic series Defying Gravity has been canceled by ABC for low ratings.

Nine Eight episodes have aired so far of the paranoia-and-sex sci-fi series since its August 2 premiere. It featured an international team of eight astronauts, led by Ron Livingston (Office Space), who undertake a mysterious six-year international space mission in the near future, only to discover that their real assignment is not at all what they thought. Reviews of the show were generally guarded (The Boston Globe called it "a perfectly decent bit of sci-fi soap"; Matt Roush commented backhandedly that "it's not without interest"), and some viewers were warned off by an abortion-related subplot.

Created by James Parriott (Grey's Anatomy), Defying Gravity was inspired by Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets, a fictional docudrama produced by Impossible Pictures, which was responsible for the dinosaur docs that led into Primeval.


September 16, 2009 at 10:00 am
(1) JDisMe says:

This is incorrect. A spokeperson for ABC announced on the 14th that the show was not being cancelled. However, the show will be moving to an as of yet unknown timeslot.

September 16, 2009 at 10:38 am
(2) Rick Vorndran says:

Well, Mark, if your goal (as stated in your bio0 is to “open up those possibilities (of sci-fi) for everyone, ardent fans and curious newcomers alike”, maybe you should actually watch some episodes of Defying Gravity before commenting. The show is a noble attempt to combine a modern genre (the workplace romance) with hard science. It was something new and worthy of respect, whatever its faults in execution.

By the way (a) not officially cancelled per ABC’s statment on Monday, (b) 8 episodes aired not 9 in the U.S., and (c) it wasn’t an anti-abortion subplot, it dealt witht the reprocussion of abortion in a future where it’s outlawed. A 5 minute Google search would’ve told you all this before you posted.

September 16, 2009 at 10:42 am
(3) jayru59 says:

Sunday’s show was listed on my DVR as season finale, but the ending was confusing.

September 16, 2009 at 10:58 am
(4) Caroline says:

I, for one, am DELIGHTED to hear you made a mistake. I am enjoying this series and would hate to see it taken off the schedule for good.

September 16, 2009 at 10:58 am
(5) Neponset says:

I have watched the show. It was hard to find thanks to ABC having no publicity on the show. I caught up with the first episodes online. I thought that the show had promise. I do like Ron Livingston from Office Space and Band of Brothers. I also like the flashback parts of the show to give everyone a background. I hope ABC finds a place for the show.

September 16, 2009 at 11:24 am
(6) Fan says:

Yay! I love this show. The only thing I watch on ABC. The quality of actors, story, and character development have me hooked. I hope they move this to a more appropriate time slot. The target audience who watches Shark Tank is very different than fans of this genre.

September 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm
(7) Amber says:

I love this show I would hate it if they cancel. But its not reality so we might as well throw our hands up in the air on this one. God forbid something is on thats not reality or a cartoon.

September 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm
(8) docwho2100 says:

It is not your fault – there is so much misinformation out there about this show – I am constantly correcting web sites – poof – like are there 11 or 13 episodes :P

a bunch of people are trying to save the show – here is a site listing some of the efforts and possibilities so far – http://defyinggravity.wetpaint.com/page/Save+Our+Show+-+Beta+Siren+Call

September 16, 2009 at 5:04 pm
(9) Carole says:

I really like Defying Gravity and hope that it is not canceled. Would love to see the other episodes that have not aired. Keep us updated.

September 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm
(10) Elyse says:

Let’s see, not cancelled, but not on schedule. Will be… at some unknown time. Ah, the kiss of death. Filler when something else bombs horribly. Hopefully it will be out on DVD first.

September 16, 2009 at 6:03 pm
(11) Wishing for a season 2 says:

The only reason I watch ABC at all is for Lost and Defying Gravity, and I did watch Life on Mars. Guess they will lose me altogether once Lost ends in the Spring. I am tired of never having quality SiFi on the networks, and thought Defying was a good show. Hopefully ABC will give it a second chance with some backing and a proper spot on the schedule.

September 17, 2009 at 10:06 am
(12) DG Fan says:

I know Defying Gravity will still be shown on CTV in Canada, but the videos on there can’t be viewed in the US. I don’t really trust ABC to show the rest of these episodes (though I do wish they would!) Anyone have a clue where us Americans could still watch it? :-(

September 18, 2009 at 12:51 pm
(13) Another DG Fan says:

Woo hoo!!!! If it’s true that it’s not cancelled, that’s great news. I think this new show has a lot of potential, and I for one am intrigued. They started a campaign to make sure it stays on the air over here: http://defyingravityonline.com.

September 20, 2009 at 5:50 pm
(14) canadienhits says:

CTV does NOT have Defying Gravity on it’s listings for next week.

September 20, 2009 at 8:17 pm
(15) JG from Tucson says:

If ABC doesn’t know what to do with the show I’m certain Syfy could use it…look what they did with Stargate SG1.

September 21, 2009 at 11:26 pm
(16) Chordmerchant says:

“ABC” dropping this series would be as stupid a move as “Showtime” made when canceling “Dead Like Me”.

September 21, 2009 at 11:59 pm
(17) Harvey says:

Easy to believe they are cancelling Defying Gravity. Look what they did to Pushing Daisies. The show wins Emmys, but did not get the ratings, so ka-boom!

September 25, 2009 at 8:57 am
(18) Joe Ready says:

I hope the show is canceled. It is not a Sci-Fi show, it is just another perverted sitcom in a space setting. It is supposed to depict a realistic “NASA” type program in the near future. Yet even when the ship is far away in space, they have instantaneous video/audio back and forth. By what physics does this work?? Yet the writers thought they needed to explain how the gravity worked on their ship, because that would just be too much for the audience to swallow without explanation. How does the gravity work anyway? It shuts down when a big spinning arm stops, yet they said it was done using magnetics. I saw that giant arms stop rotating in about 10 seconds cause the power cut out, how did it stop spinning so quickly in space since there is no resistance in space to stop it so fast?? This show is for ignorant people, and every other line is a sex reference, and not a good one.

September 25, 2009 at 1:05 pm
(19) DAN says:

This is BS, they take star trek away from us, then now this BS.. low ratings my arse.. they NEVER counted ME..so what ratings.. i say its what the commerical/advertisement companies will pay them, that makes up the ratings. .cause this is LAME.. 100,000′s of people all over the internet are PISSED because of this.. tell me theres no ratings, SHOVE IT you lye. Ratings are nothing more than an attempt to quantify TV Commercials.. nothing more. brought on by the quantification of internet advertising and monitization..

September 26, 2009 at 5:33 pm
(20) WCOYLE says:


September 28, 2009 at 10:44 am
(21) Iffy says:

The ones who say the show is stupid, gave up on the show after watching the first few episodes…which WERE stupid. But it got better, more sci-fi, less soap. Please don’t cancel it.

October 10, 2009 at 2:24 am
(22) Lee says:

DG is more like a drama in a sci-fi world, emphasizing on the soap drama. So as a sci-fi fan I’m not that sad if DG is actually cancelled, in fact this makes me think what exactly that I don’t like with the show.
Yes, the pace of the show is slow in favor of a depth in character development. But it is a soap after all. DG uses quick flashback without hint (without camera effect, etc.) like LOST, which sometime makes you wonder if it’s present time or past time for a couple of seconds. And yes, most of the tech and science are disoriented and doesn’t seem right.

October 13, 2009 at 9:22 pm
(23) Charlie says:

I loved this show. I thought it was very engaging. Certainly the only show I watched on that network. Yes it was a little slow plotwise but I didn’t mind that it took its time. Bring it back!

October 24, 2009 at 2:32 am
(24) ABC = Retards says:

This should would be good in the sci-fi (syfy now) 8pm friday time slot that they’ve been using to re-run last weeks stargate universe episode.

Anyone who watches stargate owns a computer, they can watch last weeks episode on hulu.. Reruns are unnecessary.

ABC’s line up sucks, i cant believe they take decent shows off and leave crap on. As if anyone watches the rest of the crap on their network. After lost is done, no reason at all to continue watching anything they’ve got.

I hadn’t even learned about the show until after 5 episodes.. Great job on the advertisement!!

February 27, 2010 at 8:18 pm
(25) Welp! It's gone now. says:

To save face/sell DVD boxsets over christmas ABC said it was not cancelled.

In Truth it’s cancelled, the sets have been torn down and the script writer spoiled how it was going to end.

July 1, 2012 at 2:19 am
(26) gusman says:

Bring the show back, advertise it! it would be a smash!

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