NBC, CBS, and The CW left it until almost the last possible moment--the eve of the big network upfronts--to settle the fates of three freshman genre shows that had great concepts but didn't get the support in conventional ratings that the networks wanted.
It's all over for The Secret Circle.
© Jack Rowand/The CW
It's a bloodbath of infant series this year. Awake, A Gifted Man, and The Secret Circle, like The Fades a few weeks ago, Terra Nova in March and The Nine Lives of Chloe King at the beginning of the fall season, will all join the ranks of good sci-fi/fantasy shows that were killed after a single season, before they'd had a chance to come into their own.
In fact, the only new genre shows for 2011-2012 to survive on the five broadcast networks were the two entries/progenitors of the current fairy tale fad, Once Upon a Time and Grimm, and a late entry, Kiefer Sutherland's Touch.
Were these latest three cancellations expected? Two of the shows have been on the pundits' "death watch" lists for some time--in the case of A Gifted Man, for months; Awake's lackluster conventional ratings have prompted more recent concern. The Secret Circle was more of a surprise: even after The CW renewed Supernatural and Vampire Diaries without any mention of The Secret Circle, many writers though the show was in a gray area and could go either way.
The worst part is, all three shows built up to a powerful climax toward their season finales that signaled new and stronger sophomore seasons--which now will never be. A great deal of creative energy--both in front of the cameras (Jason Isaacs, Patrick Wilson, and a number of others I could name did outstanding jobs evoking complex and interesting characters) and behind--has now been, not wasted, but tamped down, prevented from blossoming into something better. And all of them will have to start over from scratch with new concepts and the headaches of new production, and new pressure to conjure profits or else.
On the other hand, everything creative has risks. Secret Circle star Chris Zylka left this trenchant tweet this morning: "In art, you must be able to walk away. If you cant walk away from something that didn't work, how can you walk away from something that is."
And Awake creator Kyle Killen, who already had a highly favored ratings disaster under his belt, was able to laugh about it on his own Twitter feed. "guys its cool," he tweeted. "awake lasted 600% longer than lone star. at that rate next 1 be on until end of time."
I'll say it outright: it has its flaws, but I'm a big fan of Awake; losing this show in particular is another sad moment in a tumultuous season. Hats off and thanks to Kyle Killen, Jason Isaacs, and everyone else who worked hard to make Awake a reality.
|Tags: Awake, The Secret Circle, A Gifted Man|
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