In a surprising decision on Friday, the WGN America network has decided to cancel its highest-rated and extremely popular original series Outsiders.
The series stars David Morse, Ryan Hurst, Gillian Alexy, Kyle Gallner, Christina Jackson, and Thomas M. Wright. Peter Mattei created the series and executive produces along with Peter Tolan, Paul Giamatti, Dan Carey and Michael Wimer. Sony Pictures Television, Tribune Studios, Fedora Entertainment, and Touchy Feely Films produce.
The shocking decision comes just a week after the show pulled in its highest ratings ever, in the history of the network. Last week, WGN America released a press statement saying:
On Tuesday nights at 9 p.m., the Appalachian drama “Outsiders” averages more than 1.3 million Total Viewers and 628K Adults 25-54. The performances of the 9 p.m. telecast represents an outstanding +305% increase over the network’s prior time period average among Total Viewers and +250% in Adults 25-54 in Live + 3 delivery. Across the night, the hit Appalachian drama draws 2 million Total Viewers and 874K Adults 25-54.
Those are some tremendous numbers which is why, today, the news of the series’ cancellation comes as a huge shock to fans everywhere. How can such a well-received show be cancelled? Peter Kern, interim president and CEO of Tribune Media issued the following statement on the series:
“After three years of investing in marquee, brand-defining dramas, WGN America has successfully expanded its audience, its reach, and its presence in the minds of viewers. In our next phase, we intend to expand our original and unique content to continue growing our relevance and appeal to the widest possible audience. To achieve this, we will be reallocating our resources to a more diverse programming strategy and to new structures, enabling us to expand both the quantity and breadth of content aired by WGN America. This move is designed to deliver even more value to our advertising and distribution partners. To free up the resources to reach this goal, we will unfortunately not be renewing ‘Outsiders.’ We are grateful to our production partners at Sony Pictures Television and the terrifically talented people who made the show possible.”
On the bright side, in today’s world of entertainment, “cancelled” is no longer an ultimate death sentence. We’ve seen plenty of shows leave regular television and resurface elsewhere, for example Nashville being cancelled from ABC and finding a new home at CMT or Arrested Development finding new life on Netflix. Sony is reportedly already shopping for new network which would allow the popular series to continue.
Fans have begun issuing an outpouring of support for the show, cast, crew and all involved with the series. Within minutes of the cancellation announcement, an online movement for the show’s re-homing was launched with fans reaching out to Sony Pictures and showing support by using the hashtag #ShayMustStay, a reference to Shay Mountain which is the home of the Farrell family in the series. Additionally, an online petition has been started urging Sony Pictures Television president Zack Van Amburg to find a new home for the series.
So, cousins, all hope is not, necessarily, lost! Stay positive, show your support and make sure to tune in for the final two episodes Tuesday night 4/18 and 4/25 at 9pm EST.
A karaoke obsessed, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?).