As we noted earlier this afternoon—when briefly mourning the passing of ABC’s thoughtful, emotional, and funny Speechless—today is one of those days that every producer of good-but-not-great-performing TV comes to dread, when the networks decide to collectively sit up, take a look at their schedules, and say “Fuck it, let’s kill some shows.”
While it’s yet to live up to the legacy of Bloodbath Day 2018—which saw ABC kill off nine series in the span of a single sanguinary afternoon—today’s butcher bill is already starting to pick up steam, as both ABC and Fox appear to have chosen Friday, May 10 as the final gravestone date for a whole bunch of shrug-worthy series. For one thing, the Kids are definitively not alright; both ABC’s The Kids Are Alright and Fox’s “wacky old folks” comedy The Cool Kids have been wiped out after a single season, signalling the supremacy of non-Kids programming over the airwaves yet again. Take that, children.
Also faring poorly: Any show with a definitive article in the title. In addition to The Cool Kids, Fox’s The Passage and ABC’s The Fix are both dead after a single year, joining Fox’s earlier discarded X-Men spin-off The Gifted. (We here at An A.V. Club would like to express our condolences to all the shows’ casts and crews.)
Not even certified TV royalty is safe; Jenna Fischer’s ABC show, Splitting Up Together, is also gone after two seasons, doomed by a world that simply couldn’t accept Fischer married (and then un-married, and then etc.) to any floppy-haired weirdo who wasn’t her beloved John Krasinski. All told, it was a pretty messy day for ABC, which—what with Modern Family on life-support right now—really needs one of these new shows to stick for more than a handful of seasons if it’s going to keep its comedy empire afloat.