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John Stamos drama Members Only is the latest TV series to be canceled without airing

While rerun ratings and reboot rumors indicate that the public demands John Stamos in an ’80s throwback, you’ll never see the Full House star in a Members Only. According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC has canceled the series, which was set to drop Stamos, Betsy Brandt, Natalie Zea, and others into the soapy exploits of the members and staff at a private country club. Despite a straight-to-series order, Members Only was troubled from the start, with co-writer David O. Russell bowing out a month after ABC gave the greenlight, dashing hopes for the American Hustle director’s first TV effort. (Until someone lures him back to television with a Dancing With The Stars-type re-imagining of Silver Linings Playbook, that is.)

Given recent patterns, however, the surest sign of Members Only’s doom was ABC’s straight-to-series commitment. In the wake of Mission Control, Hieroglyph, and Emerald City (not to mention The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s move from NBC to Netflix), it looks like the shortest path to getting your TV show made—which bypasses the traditional pilot process to take a series from concept to commissioned episodes—is also the shortest path to that TV show never seeing the light of day. Deadline notes that other factors (like Russell’s departure or tension between co-producers CBS Television Studios and ABC Studios) may have led to ABC tossing its Members Only into the donation bin, but the news makes “straight-to-series” sound like less of a guarantee than ever before.


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