Three months after the cancellation of both Castle and Nashville, the shocking double demise continues to reverberate, and ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey was asked again to address the decisions during the network’s executive session at TCA, along with a cancellation from three years ago, that of drama Body of Proof.
She hinted that the reasons behind the cancellation of Nashville, which has found a new home at CMT, were largely financial.
“Nashville is a show that I personally truly loved, and to not have it back was a little bit of a heartbreak for me,” Dungey said. “There are always a lot of things to consider in terms of your ability to bring a show back or not. We had lots of conversations with (Nashville producers) Lionsgate and with ABC Studios, and at the end of the day, it just did not feel like it was going to be something that we could work out.”
Dungey said she is “thrilled that the show has found a new home on CMT because now I can keep watching it.”
As for the messy Castle cancellation, which came after the controversial decision by producer ABC Studios to cut two female cast members, including co-lead Stana Katic, “that was a case where you have things running on parallel tracks,” Channing said. “We were always very upfront with the studio and the producers about the possibility that we might not be bringing the show back for Season 9, but the studio has to do what they need to do in order to prepare for the possibility of a Season 9. So they did what they felt they needed to do in order to be ready should they get the nod,. Ultimately, for us at the network, we did not feel that it was the right thing to do to order another season.”
There are no new projects with Castle stars Nathan Fillion or Katic in the works at the network, Dungey said after the session.
Before a string of shows that failed miserably in the Tuesday 10 PM slot, ABC had there the Dana Delany procedural Body of Proof, which ran for three seasons to steady ratings and strong international sales for sister ABC Studios. The show’s cancellation by Dungey predecessor Paul Lee was a financial hit for the studio and deprived the network of an utility player. An attempt to resurrect the series several months after it was taken off the air did not materialize.
“We have oft lamented the cancellation of Body of Proof, I’m not gonna lie,” said Dungey, who previously oversaw ABC’s drama department. “That was a good show for us, and it was sad to see it go. “
But despite the recent axing of another rare ABC procedural, Castle, ABC is making a new push in the procedural genre. Dungey praised the close-ended dramas’ good repeatability and overall value. Leading the procedural charge at ABC is new drama series Conviction, which launches this fall.