ABC Pulls Mind Games from Schedule

Mind Games CancelledMind Games over.

ABC has pulled the freshman drama from its schedule after five airings, effective immediately.

RELATED | 2014 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?

Starring Steve Zahn and Christian Slater, Mind Games premiered to 3.6 million total viewers and a 1.1 demo rating, and most recently mustered barely 2 million viewers with a 0.7 demo rating. (This is where I point out, again, that Body of Proof‘s series finale did 7.6 mil/1.2.)

In a recent TVLine “bubble” show poll, 13 percent voted to KEEP Mind Games, 25 percent said to CUT it, while 62 percent HAD NO OPINION/WEREN’T WATCHING. Indeed.

Encore episodes of Resurrection will occupy the Tuesdays-at-10 time slot for the next two weeks. Season 3 of Celebrity Wife Swap will then premiere in the time period on April 15, opening with actor Daniel Baldwin and music legend Jermaine Jackson.

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  1. Mare says:

    Can Christian Slater get a show that WON’T be canceled by the end of the season? the Forgotten, My Own Worst Enemy, Breaking In- all great shows- all canceled :/

    • Bryan Caron says:

      Sometimes it takes time… Christopher Gorham also went through a spell where it seemed like no matter what he touched, it was canceled shortly after (Odyssey 5, Jake 2.0, Out of Practice, Medical Investigation and Harper’s Island; all of which I watched and enjoyed… this doesn’t count the shows he came into after they were already hits, such as Ugly Betty). But then, all of a sudden, along came Covert Affairs. The point is, give it time… Christian Slater is bound to find something soon that just clicks.

    • Et al says:

      Dracula on NBC hasn’t been canceled yet. His voice is a main character on that show :D

    • Amy says:

      Poor Christian Slater. I love him, and I also was really loving Mind Games. Stupid decision on ABC’s part, I mean they could have at least shown the remaining 8 episodes. I find it really pathetic that people would rather watch the drivel that is Celebrity Wife Swap than a clever show like Mind Games. Ugh.

    • JVee says:

      Rats! I was afraid of this. I have been watching and liking this show. Steve Zahn (previously on the fabulous and grievously under-appreciated Treme) was terrific!

  2. Arie says:

    Christian Slater is just bad luck.

  3. Joel says:

    Christian Slater strikes again!

  4. . (@yikes77) says:

    (sigh) you’re still pretty Christian Slater. Time to try your luck on CBS.

    • Michelle says:

      I really enjoyed the show. I believe that both Christian slater and Steve zahn did a phenomenal job for each of there parts.. Were times that Zahns character was over the top … Monopolized the story, but it is up to the writer and director to balance the story line. The actors brought the story alive, but I’m getting burned out on getting involved in a story/show and then having it dropped. If I stop watching abc or any of its ofiluates then it won’t really matter what your cyndicate views as pole worthy. I watch resurrection as well…. Never had to chose but since you’ve made my choice for me “Neither”

  5. James says:

    “Great” shows…? Maybe you’re thinking of a different word.

  6. Kaycee says:

    Aww it’s a shame, Megalyn Echikunwoke is a real talent, I hope she finds another show to star in!

  7. grayton says:

    I tried , but it was unwatch-able.

  8. grayton says:

    …and a real shame, because Steve Zahn in Treme was awesome.

  9. froggarita says:

    this is why i wait for a show to go a season before watching/getting hooked. I have had my heart broken too many times by them being cancelled! :(

    • Whatevah says:


    • johnhelvete says:

      I prefer to make my own decision about what shows that I watch. It sucks when a show gets cancelled after one season and you are left hanging with a cliffhanger that is never resolved, but I am not going to let the lack of viewers keep me from watching a show that I am interested in.

      • topoopon says:

        ^^^this. If we all did this everything would get cancelled because no one’s watching.

      • Jane says:

        Thank you. I am so tired of people saying they won’t watch a show because they are afraid it might be cancelled. Maybe if they all watched the shows they think might be interesting they wouldn’t get cancelled.

      • herman1959 says:

        Exactly, anyone remember Deception?

    • Jono says:

      lol what shows broke your heart

  10. AprilD says:

    Maybe this show was too “cerebral” for most folks. The solutions to their problems to help their clients were pretty complex. It also showed people being vulnerable to persuasion. I can see how that would freak people out. And the biggest thing was Zahn’s character and his manic episodes that probably turned people off the most. But I really liked the show. I thought Zahn & Slater had chemistry as brothers, some good supporting actors, and we were just digging into their back story. A shame.

    • Ana says:

      Please. I love it when people give this excuse for why shows fail. Lots of intelligent popular shows attract viewers and Mind Games was hardly award-winning material.

    • TV Gord says:

      I think this fits into the ‘denial’ stage of grief.

    • Jonathan says:

      Yeah, I really loved Zahn on this show, and appreciated that it was at least slightly more creative than your average network rehash of the same old formula.

    • Kathy says:

      Wrong. The problem wasn’t that it was too cerebral. The problem for me is that it wasn’t cerebral enough. I wanted it to be a smart comedy. I wanted it to make me think as much as it made me laugh. I wanted to be intrigued by how they got inside people’s minds. Instead it failed on all counts.

  11. rowan77 says:

    I’m bummed. The show became super formulaic, but I love Steve Zahn and to have him in a brilliant role like this was a treat. He was able to really showcase his talent. But the show was still shaky and contradictory – last week they had 57 prospective clients begging for help, but this episode they are back to scrambling for clients and have no money and can’t pay anyone? The removal of the ex-wife, the addition of the ex-con and lack of real progression in the storyline looked like the network execs were monkeying around with it and turned it into a mishmash.

    Zahn, Slater and team deserved better.

  12. Teag says:

    Christian Slater and Kyle Killen. It was bound to happen.

  13. Liz says:

    Music legend Jermaine Jackson?!

  14. Christy says:

    The Tuesday at 10pm curse continues. What’s that, 3 now?? ABC never should have cancelled Body of Proof.

  15. Kyle Killen and Christian Slater can’t catch a break :(

  16. emw says:

    Man I hate this.. Christian slater is awesome & loved his television shows…loved this one… people should have really given it a chance… heck mixology should be canceled if it hasn’t been already

  17. Bring back BODY OF PROOF!!!

  18. Whatevah says:

    Boooo…and this is why I don’t like watching new shows on abc..

  19. Abe Froman says:

    Christian Slater is the new Ted McGinley.

  20. leah says:

    what about all the episodes filmed? will they air them or put them online?

  21. Jared says:

    Christian Slater would be better in an ensemble instead of him being a lead or co lead of a series. The same works for Matthew Perry. There has to be a reason why viewers aren’t watching there shows when they both happen to be great actors.

  22. Babygate says:

    I really like Christian Slater but I couldn’t get behind this premise. Steve Zahn just looks demented. From the promos alone it was obvious that it would be an impossible sell. Especially during that slot.

  23. cjinsd says:

    I purposely didn’t watch because they pulled Killer Women after skipping a key episode. I’m sick of the way shows are treated. While Mind Games sounded interesting, I was too pissed to give it a try.

    • mari johnson says:

      We hated the way they skipped that important episode of killer women. If they already made the shows, why not show them? Even on a Saturday!

  24. Jean Kramer says:

    I’m very happy that Mind Games is gone. Why oh why ABC do we need a Wife Swap show??? Bring back Killer Women!

  25. i couldn’t even bring myself to watch any of the commercials after teh first time i saw oene—way too much yelling. “Jedi Mind Tricks!”. shut up.

  26. Shaun says:

    Mind Games should blame itself. I gave it a couple of episodes and the shouting did not stop. How can people watch a show if all they do in it is shout at each other, especially Steve Zahn. OMG so much shouting! Great concept, very poor execution.

    • Nell on Wheels says:

      I’m surprised it lasted this long. I couldn’t make it through the first episode with all the shouting. Everytime I saw it still in the program grid I thought, “Really?!!!!”

  27. Diz says:

    I never did get around to watching any of the episodes. I guess I can delete them all off my DVR now.

  28. Moria says:

    Thank you for mentioning Body Of Proof’s ratings. That was a bizarre cancellation. Many have also written off The Mentalist, which actually gets pretty good ratings. That’s a case where it seems some executive just wants a show gone.

    • TV Gord says:

      The overall ratings for those shows are pretty good, but advertisers only care about the 18-49 age group, so it’s less bizarre when you look at it from that perspective. Networks have cancelled plenty of shows that they were really hoping would succeed, but if they 18-49 demo isn’t there, it’s hard to make a case for saving it. (I’m grateful for every show they save despite the demo ratings. Some shows are just doomed by the ratings, and Mind Games was one of them.

    • I was going to thank him for the BOP shout out too. Such a stupid cancellation. Guessing ABC execs are kicking themselves for that move. Bummer for the rest of us though.

  29. Dav says:

    Does this mean people will finally stop pretending that Christian Slater is a big deal.

  30. LisaP says:

    AWWW I was hoping this one would turn it around. Why does ABC pull these things so quickly? But then again, I’m probably one of the only people who watched Zero Hour and enjoyed it….

  31. sarah says:

    I love Christian Slater and the last 2 shows I watched with him in it, they were cancelled.
    So I did not give Mind Games a try as I had a feeling this would happen.

  32. amy says:

    I love both actors. Tried watching the first two weeks. Really wanted to like it but just couldn’t!

  33. Katherine215 says:

    Instead of reruns of Resurrection, can’t ABC run the missing two episodes of Killer Women? They cut it two weeks early for Mind Games, the least they could do is air the remaining episodes for us.

  34. Scooter Smith (@scoboot) says:

    I don’t understand why they do this. They pick up a show, promote it, and then they air the shows out of order, destroy the continuity that the writers have put into it, then pull it when people can’t follow it and stop watching. Even if the ratings suck, why air reruns? Why not finish out the episodes you ordered, for the fans that are watching? The more shows you cancel mid-run, the less likely people are to watch ANY new shows on your network.

    I liked this show, but didn’t think it would get renewed. The pilot didn’t establish the characters well enough, and one of the main relationship draws for me was Ross’s ex-wife being Clark’s anchor/safe place and they torpedoed that in the second episode.

    And now, we will never know what happened after Clark crashed the car. I’m just going to assume he died, and that’s why there is no show anymore.

  35. MInd Games had promise - and it was al thrown away says:

    When I first read about this show in the pilot list last March/April’13, I was really intrigued; the concept of messing with people’s minds while trying to solve a mystery. Cool idea.

    Then I saw the cast. The end. It just didn’t work – I watched one episode (against my better judgement), and then forced myself to watch 3/4 of a second (maybe the pilot didn’t click?), and then forced myself to watch another episode, and about 1/2 half way through, I gave up. A great idea for a show with great promise, but with poor execution and a casting director who did much damage to this property. Too bad.

    I’m sure this whole bunch will be back at it next pilot season. They’ll all be back for more, and I’m sure the networks will put them all back in more pilots again and again. Perhaps that’s the most depressing part – they’ll all get another chance next pilot season to disappoint all of us (the customers) once again.

    Anyone want to ‘save’ broadcast television? This is a good place to start – the pilot season[s] continues to allow this kind of show/cast/crew/operation to reach the airwaves – over and over again. This has to stop. Place to start – I’m sorry, but it starts with Paul Lee and co. over at ABC. And yet, I read (Deadline I believe?) that he just got a contact extension? Good luck ABC.

  36. maryjolocke says:

    bring back killer women

  37. Katy Came says:

    Disappointed. Was really enjoying the chemistry between Christian and Steve. Starting to really connect with the characters and now its gone. Why do they always yank shows so very soon? Hardly worth watching network TV any more.

  38. That was dumb!!! Mind Games was a good show…. Better than watching these dumb reality shows which take away from the real actors and actresses who have worked all their lives for acting…

  39. maryjolocke says:

    please bring back the killer women put it on Thursday night

  40. Mark says:

    Some shows just need time for people to watch it and understand it and like it. Mind Games is like no other show I have ever watched or seen or heard of before. I like it when there is actually a different and new kind of television show. It wasn’t about solving a crime, wasn’t a reality show, or vampire or werewolf show it was different and new. I just think they should have gave it way more time before cutting it off. I believe they should put it back on or have another television channel pick it up and give it time and I think it will catch on.

  41. Jay says:

    Just put them back on.
    Just give them a chance;
    And you know why.

  42. Chris says:

    This was an excellent show. Ppl are stupid

  43. Dan says:

    what happens to the 5 episodes that won’t air can they be found somewhere?

  44. prish says:

    I am, finally, watching the Mind Game episodes on the dvr. The show is fantastic, so much fun with great acting. If I ever became a billionaire, I would pick up Slater’s shows and continue them.

  45. prish says:

    Mind Games should have been titled, “Psych Games”. It was a brilliant show with a great cast. The term mind games has a negative connotation of being some kind of mental abuse on another. However, this show was all about using psychology principles, similar to CSI’s use of dna and a combination of made-up and actual forensics, to help others and to tell a good story. Psych Games would have given the true picture what the series was all about. I hope someone picks it up.

  46. brittan says:

    i liked that show very disappointed probably would have better ratings if it was on there a way I can watch the episodes that didn’t aire