Its’ the end of the road for two of CBS’ summer dramas. The network has pulled the plug on American Gothic and BrainDead after both aired only one thirteen episode season, TVWise has confirmed. The third of CBS’ summer scripted dramas, Zoo, has previously been renewed for 2017.
Both shows came out of a new model devised by CBS several years ago which, thanks to a lucrative SVOD partnership with Amazon, made it possible to produce high-end, expensive dramas for the typically lower-traffic summer months. That started with Under The Dome and continued through Extant and most recently American Gothic and BrainDead.
The partnership with Amazon, according to CBS head honco Les Moonves, made these shows close to profitable from day one, which when coupled with international sales, tended to push them into the black, almost irrespective of ratings. Ratings did come into play here though, with the average audience figures for both being soft, at best. For most shows that would have lead to a quick cancellation decision, but a final decision on the shows, which has been looming for months, was complicated by the Amazon deal.
In the case of BrainDead, which hailed from The Good Wife co-creators Robert and Michelle King, the writing had been on the wall for months, since it moved from Monday nights to Sunday nights in July. A clearer signal come last month when, after the finale drew a mere 2 million viewers and a 0.3 rating, Robert and Michelle King signed to showrun CBS All Access’ untitled The Good Wife spin-off, months after stating they would not be involved in the day-to-day management of that show due to their commitments to BrainDead.
From The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King, BrainDead follows Laurel, a young, fresh-faced Hill staffer whose first job in Washington, D.C. leads her to discover two things: The government has stopped working, and alien spawn have come to Earth and eaten the brains of a growing number of congressmen and Hill staffers. The drama series is produced by CBS Television Studios and stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Danny Pino, Aaron Tveit, Tony Shalhoub, Nikki M. James, Johnny Ray Gill, Charlie Semine and Jan Maxwell.
American Gothic centers on a prominent Boston family reeling in the wake of the chilling discovery that someone in their midst is linked to an infamous string of murders. As shocking secrets from the past and present are revealed, their mounting suspicion and paranoia that one of them is a killer threatens to tear the family apart. The series is set up at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television & CBS Television Studios and stars Virginia Madsen, Justin Chatwin, Megan Ketch, Antony Starr, Juliet Rylance, Elliot Knight, Stephanie Leonidas and Gabriel Bateman.
Both shows aired in the UK and Amazon Prime Video.