UPDATED with Instagram post: There are four more episodes of the second season of the now-canceled SMILF still to air on Showtime, and creator and star Frankie Shaw intends on taking the high road out.
“I can’t express how much I’ve loved making this show, how much I love the cast and crew and appreciate Showtime as creative partners,” Shaw said this evening after the CBS-owned premium cabler said it pulling the plug on the Boston-set series co-starring Rosie O’Donnell and Connie Britton.
“After weighing a variety of factors, Showtime has decided that SMILF will not move forward for a third season,” the David Nevins-run outlet declared in a brief statement Friday. Full of compliments for Shaw, the cast and crew of the “exceptional series,” the cancellation announcement read almost like a revamped renewal.
In that vein, creator-star-director/showrunner Shaw also took to social media with a self described “teary” message:
Having debuted in late 2017 to wide acclaim, the Golden Globe-nominated show based on Shaw’s Sundance Jury Award-winning short became mired in controversy last year, just ahead of its Season 2 premiere.
After there were various complaints about badly handled nude scenes and the claims that writers of color to were designated seemingly lesser duties and lesser credits on SMILF, producer ABC Studios started its own investigation of Shaw and the series last fall. On a press tour for Season 2, Shaw repeatedly expressed that she “was learning on the go” and “grateful that I can take these lessons of being a more aware and in tune showrunner moving forward.”
As headline-seeking Massachusetts state politicians sought a tax credits-denying “independent investigation” into allegations of “harassment, civil rights violations and unfair labor practices” on the Beantown-filmed show in January, ABC Studios continued its look into what was going on during SMILF’s production.
Low ratings for the second season of SMILF were cited as the primary reason for the pink-slipping today, we hear. However, the outcome of that confidential probe clearly played a large factor in the cancellation.
for ShawIt obviously also had ramifications at the studio. “Frankie Shaw’s overall deal with ABC Studios has been suspended without pay while we review our options,” an ABC Studios spokesperson told Deadline this evening.
Shaw is represented by UTA. SMILF still scheduled to air on Showtime until March 31 with the final episode of Season 2, which now will be the series finale.