The current second season of the quirky comedy was overshadowed by allegations of misconduct against creator-showrunner-star Shaw on the set of the series that triggered an investigation by SMILF producer ABC Studios/Signature where, Shaw also has had an overall deal. That investigation has concluded.
“Frankie Shaw’s overall deal with ABC Studios has been suspended without pay while we review our options,” an ABC Studios spokesperson said.
As for Showtime, the premium cable net said in a statement Friday: “After weighing a variety of factors, Showtime has decided that SMILF will not move forward for a third season. The remainder of the second season will continue to air as scheduled on Showtime through its series finale on March 31. We remain extremely proud of the two seasons of SMILF, and thank Frankie Shaw for her singular voice and unique creation, as well as the dozens of writers, producers, actors, directors and crew members both in Los Angeles and on location in Boston, who contributed to this exceptional series.”
The decision to cancel the show comes after there had prep work done on a potential third season. In fact, Shaw had been scouting locations in the UK when the news report about the allegations came out in late December.
Showtime CEO David Nevins weighed in on the controversy in January.
“You have got to figure out what the results are from the investigation by Disney,” he told Deadline. “The show is on the air, it’s a good show, still doing well. There is nothing to do until we hear from ABC about what’s happening.”
As for his personal take on the situation, Nevins said, “ABC is really experienced at this; they know what they are doing.”
SMILF was a critical and ratings breakout hit when it premiered in 2017, earning awards recognition for Shaw. While the series’ average weekly viewership in Season 2 (1.7 million) was down from Season 1 (3 million), the comedy continued to do well with critics, earning 100% on Rotten Tomatoes vs. 82% for Season 1.
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