‘Prodigal Son’ gets canned: Why the show should’ve died before season 2
Fox made headlines this week as audiences are reminded the network isn’t simply the source of controversial news reports. Remember Fox programming? American Idol & The Simpsons ring a bell? Fox never stopped trying to keep up with its competitors in terms of TV series, but the news this week shows us that the network might not be able to keep up with the streaming giants taking over TV.
The news this week concerns one of Fox’s four current dramas on the air, joining 9-1-1, 9-1-1: Lone Star, and The Resident in 2019. We’re talking about Prodigal Son, and this week, sources across the board announced it will be cancelled after just two seasons, and fans wonder if Fox will now have a gaping hole in its already dwindling block of dramas.
Down to the wire
Deadline reported yesterday that Prodigal Son has been canceled after just two seasons. The cancellation is no surprise to streaming addicts who’ve never heard of the series before, and Prodigal Son seems to have ended before the show even began. So how did the show manage to make it to season 2?
Prodigal Son season 2 didn’t come easily. The show was the last of the Fox dramas to get a renewal in 2020 and Deadline seemed to imply the choice was made in a pinch, saying season 2 wasn’t approved “until after the upfronts, and it came down to the wire again for the series”. The show was well-liked at Fox, but what did the ratings have to say for the series?
Prodigal Son season 2 was the lowest-rated Fox drama on the air during its run, but the series seemed to be doing well in terms of digital viewing online. However, the digital numbers weren’t enough to save Prodigal Son, and the series was the only Fox drama to be dropped during this cycle.
Prodigal Son’s issues didn’t start & end with its poor ratings. Production of the show was reportedly challenging, as scheduling issues ran amok, originating from the casting of Michael Sheen. However, because the creatives at Fox liked the show, they tried all they could come up with to get the show to catch on.
Sources imply Prodigal Son just barely managed to get season 2 going, but signing on A-listers like Catherine Zeta-Jones kept up some interest. The show also had Tom Payne, Bellamy Young, Lou Diamond Phillips, Aurora Perrineau, Frank Harts, Keiko Agena, Chris Fedak, and Sam Sklaver on its cast & production credits over its run.
However, no sign-on seemed to do enough to get a third season of Prodigal Son approved. So how will Fox fill the gap in its schedule?
For the next cycle of shows on Fox, the network has picked up four new dramas to add to their meager line up. Dramas The Big Leap, Monarch, The Cleaning Lady, and Our Kind of People will come to Fox next season in lieu of a follow up to Prodigal Son season 2.
As streaming fans wonder what Fox will come up with for its glut of ill-fated drama series, the networks still seem to recognize its bread & butter. The Hollywood Reporter reported Fox has already renewed its cult-followed animation series Bob’s Burgers, Duncanville, Family Guy, The Great North, and The Simpsons.
Fox seems to be resting on its laurels, but drama fans can only hope the network will correct the mistakes made with Prodigal Son season 2 with its four new drama series next season.
Are you one of the select Prodigal Son superfans? Tell us why the show deserved a third season in the comments!
The relationship between father and son in the “Prodigal Son” series was as unique a story line as I have seen on TV in a long time. The acting from all was a step above as was the writing from one episode to the next. A real gem, sorry to see it go. As for audience share….advertising the damn thing might have helped.
HitchMay 18, 2021
Linda M Fedak
“Prodigal son, has been a refreshing change from all the mundane , unimaginative series , of the past. This incompetent move of Fox, is another reason we avoid Fox like the plague, until we gave Prodigal Son a chance, and were hooked immediately. the seasoned and unseasoned actors on this drama, showed what real acting abilities look like, to make you sit on the edge of your seat, and be intrigued all the way through. The writing and directing on this series is the best we’ve seen in a long time, we anxiously looked forward to every episode, and we hope and pray that this series gets a chance to continue it’s awesome talents with some appreciative network. We will be waiting and watching for it !May 24, 2021