Pivoting was a surprise cancelation at Fox after it emerged that the critically acclaimed comedy would not return for a second season.
The move came after lengthy negotiations between the network and studio Warner Bros Television.
Michael Thorn, President of Entertainment at Fox, said that canceling the show, which stars Eliza Coupe, Ginnifer Goodwin and Maggie Q, was a “hard call”.
“Liz Astrof and Aaron Kaplan are great partners and we have to make tough decisions. We had to look at it holistically, not just as a show, but as a business and in this case we were sorry not to renew it,” he said.
Pivoting had been considered a strong bet for renewal. A favorite of the Fox brass, the show had a rare 100% on Rotten Tomatoes as one of the best-reviewed new broadcast series and also was a strong performer on Hulu, which the network has been able to monetize.
In the immediate aftermath of the cancellation, there is the inevitable finger-pointing, with each side feeling that they did all they could to secure a renewal.
According to some sources, Fox was high on Pivoting and gave the single-camera show a conditional renewal, contingent on the series moving from Los Angeles to Vancouver to save money, which was a no-go as the stars could not uproot their families. Additionally, there reportedly was a second attempt by the network to renew the series by asking for a substantial reduction of the license fee, which also was unsuccessful as the studio could not find a way to do it.
According to other sources, Fox showed intent to renew Pivoting but did not make a strong push to secure it. And while Hulu revenue has been helping Pivoting, I hear the network has been looking past that as the pact is set to expire next year and its future is unclear.
The demise of Pivoting underscores the challenges of the broadcast model and the pressure declining linear ratings are putting on renewal negotiations, especially with outside studios. Warner Bros. TV was able to make a deal with Fox for the renewal of sophomore multi-camera comedy Call Me Kat as well as freshman drama The Cleaning Lady and is finalizing a straight-to-series deal for a new comedy, Cindy Snow, which would be produced at a lower price point in Atlanta.
While not finalized, I hear fellow indie Lionsgate TV also has been able to secure a renewal for their freshman comedy series, Welcome To Flatch, which is lower rated than Pivoting, making the latter’s cancellation even more surprising.
Created by Astrof, Pivoting followed three women (Coupe, Goodwin, Q) after the death of their childhood best friend. Faced with the reality that life is short, in desperate attempts to find happiness, they make a series of impulsive, ill-advised and self-indulgent decisions, strengthening their bond proving it’s never too late to screw up your life.
Astrof executive produced Pivoting with Kapital’s Kaplan and Dana Honor. Tristram Shapeero was director/executive producer on the pilot. The series was produced by Warner Bros. Television in association with Fox Entertainment.
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