Black Box Cancelled By ABC

Black Box Cancelled

Dr. Catherine Black’s emotional — and occasionally psychedelic — roller coaster ride has come to a complete stop.

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ABC has opted not to order additional episodes of Black Box, which starred Kelly Reilly as a famous neurologist struggling with bipolar disorder.

Originally planned as a limited series, the final episode of the Bryan Singer-produced drama aired July 24.

Are you disappointed by Black Box‘s cancellation? How do you feel about the way things concluded (or didn’t)? Drop a comment with your take on the series’ ending below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Jenny says:

    Really disappointed. Part of me didn’t want to admit it though but the ratings sucked so no surprise there. This show had a lot of potential. :(

    • Andy Swift says:

      I feel like it was never meant for ABC.

      • Sparky says:

        It’s a really great show but ABC wasn’t the right network for it. Maybe Netflix or someone else might pick it up.

      • Sarah G says:

        They were VERY honest. As an adult female with bipolar disorder (whom most people think is sweet as pie), they were PAINFULLY honest. This show was something I found incredibly difficult to watch, but somehow couldn’t look away (much like a car accident). I definitely think, on the one hand, as Andy and others said, it wasn’t a good fit for ABC/Disney; on the other hand, however, it showed admirable stretching and growing on their part. I does appear that they tried.

        What is a real shame is that people did not watch it. I and all of my friends were extremely impressed by the show and watched every episode faithfully (and on the edge of our seats).

        I can understand why people would find the main character unlikeable, though. I, too, was detestable when in a full-blown manic state. I have permanently lost friends because of it.

        • Arlene says:

          My husband and I got so attached to the show Black Box and the actress; acting was superb and although sad, it was an excellent show and am very disturbed that it was cancelled. We kept looking for it to be advertised when it would return and had a bad feeling; so looked up the information to get the bad news. We wish you would reconsider or maybe another network would pick it up.

          • Lucy says:

            I echo the sadness of all those who were disappointed by the cancellation. Working in the mental health field, I know how realistic the story lines were, and the acting was superb. It was an honest and compelling series that shed a bright light on an often misunderstood topic: mental illness. Maybe ABC wasn’t the right network – but there HAS to be one out there that is. Bring back Black Box!

  2. At least it had an ending of a sort.

    • johnhelvete says:

      It had a payoff for the niece is really my daughter storyline unlike Crisis, and it pretty much tied everything up albeit with the main character facing an uncertain future. Would have loved to see a scene with Esme and Catherine talking about the revelation but beyond that I feel things were resolved.

  3. Usually I like medical shows, but this one was bad……

  4. Lauren says:

    Nooooo. I loved this show.

  5. JeffDJ says:

    I didn’t even know this show existed in the first place.

  6. Peggy says:

    That is sad. Black Box was a really good show,different from most. My husband and I really enjoyed watching.

    • How was it different? IMO, it should have gone all the way with its modern day Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde thinking or dialed it closer to Monk where everyone knew her issues but wanted her anyway.

    • Debotah says:

      It was a really good show and I was looking forward to it coming back on. I been waoiting and wonderring we what happen. I hope some else picks it up.

  7. Dawn Vanklaveren says:

    Well crap!! I really, really liked that show.

  8. WelseyAnn says:

    I pegged this to crash & burn from the promos. I never did bother to watch it.

  9. Nancy w says:

    The show had a great deal of potential. It just goes to show that most tv viewers don’t want to think! It was sometimes hard to watch, but the shifts in mood made it fascinating .

    • Sheila says:

      There’s always one of you who claims people are stupid for not liking a show you like. But it may just show that most of us can think a character is boring and unlikeable.

      • Sean says:

        I agree. The show was well-written, and acted, but the main character was very unlikable. There was really no reason to tune in after the pilot. And, I like to think.

    • Kim H says:

      Agree.So many viewers seem to love the dumb down approach.Sad.

    • pat says:

      I and all my friends loved this show. Something different from the trash-talking junk we are getting used to seeing on ABC.
      I’m done with this Network. I mean REALLY! “How to commit murder???” Total crap. A waste of time.

  10. matt says:

    I agree I don’t think it should have been on abc, more like tnt ,I really did like the show,i wish they would do endeing to it maybe amovie to end it off

  11. sarahliz says:

    Thank goodness. The bipolar community has had it’s fingers crossed since before the premiere. Even the National Alliance for Mental Illness came out against this show as stigmatizing. Now no more people will have to be subjected to this limited view of the illness.

    • Ray says:

      Some media presence is better than none, in most cases. I didn’t watch this show past the horrible pilot, but at least it showed a bipolar woman as intelligent and highly functional.

      • Mick says:

        It really didn’t though the show display her functional or intelligent. She went off her medication to seek answers for questions. No one would do that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are two different things. Bipolar is a mood disorder. Also no one goes off their meds and the next day has such severe mood changes. It takes months for those symptoms to occur. Also for some people they may have manic or depressive episodes every few years once they are diagnosed. This show reinforced some bad stereotypes about people with chronic mental illness.

        • Jamaica says:

          Talk about myth busting! Intelligent bi-polar people DO go off their meds, in order to think more clearly. A LOT of intelligent bi-polar people do, because it sucks to feel like your brain is in a fog all the time.

          Everyone is an individual, so meds are not going to affect everyone the same way. I have experienced, immediately, the affect of my meds for bi-polar. There’s also another nice myth in that suicidal thoughts can occur from certain meds in teens and young adults ONLY. Bullcrap! Meds can trigger those thoughts in a person of ANY age. I only realized that, after I switched to another type of med.

          The last thing is that sadly, bi-polar does trigger behavior that makes its sufferer thoroughly unlikable at times. It’s a horrible, humiliating disorder that can cause plenty of situations where the sufferer later has to go around apologizing for gonzo outbursts of extreme behavior. “Homeland” never pulled any punches on that. “Black Box,” I’d never seen, however, but it sounds like they were, at least, honest.

          • herman1959 says:

            Jamaica, I’ll respect your personal opinion on going off meds, but I sincerely doubt a person with this doctor’s professional responsibilities would do so. Plus, I think that her portrayal was a disservice to responsible professionals who are Bipolar, and that Vanessa Redgrave was wasted on this show. Cancellation was the right move.

          • sarahliz says:

            Carrie on Homeland lost her job because of her behavior and lack of compliance with medication. Carrie did have a mea culpa with Saul for her outburst. It gives accuracy. Bipolar people often don’t remember these outbursts and don’t know that there was anything different about their behavior.
            If your medication causes a “fog” it is the wrong medication. There are dozens. A doctor would know this and would change it, especially if she was such a rapid cycler that even one missed dose put her into hallucinations that would put herself and her patients in danger. Non-compliance with medication is incredibly dangerous, and on average a bipolar person suffers 10 years without proper diagnosis, so they know what the consequences of coming off their meds are. This woman (at least from the pilot) clearly didn’t care. The show also fetishized mania.
            Any representation at all is not better than no representation if it means increasing the stigma.

          • Sarah G says:

            They were (honest). As an adult female with bipolar disorder, they were. Painfully so. This show was something I found incredibly difficult to watch, but somehow couldn’t look away (much like a car accident). I definitely think, on the one hand, it wasn’t ABC/Disney’s perfect match; on the other hand, however, it showed admirable stretching and growing on their part. They tried. It is a real shame that people did not watch it. I and all of my friends were extremely impressed by the show and watched every episode faithfully (and on the edge of our seats).

        • sarahliz says:

          This is generally true. Meds will cause mood changes when you stop them, but not full on manic episodes the very next day that end as soon as you start taking another dose. As far as it taking months, that can be relatively untrue, especially if you are a rapid cycler, NOS, or type III. But it was INCREDIBLY stigmatizing and didn’t even mention the fact that it was giving a limited view. It claimed it was “classic”. Most people I have encountered with BD want to get better and so they are some of the most medication compliant people out there. A doctor especially wouldn’t go off her meds fully like that, she would get better ones that don’t cause a fog if they prevent her from thinking clearly. As someone who has taken over 2 dozen of them, there ARE other choices out there. This show didn’t give a fair or accurate representation of us, and it may have furthered the stigma we continue to fight. If people want to see a good representation, watch Claire Danes on Homeland.

        • Dina Grubbs says:

          If I miss my meds even one day it is drastically noticeable. Everyone is different and I related to her particular character a lot. She obviously was a bipolar type I with psychosis which can rapid cycle quite often. Going off meds is worse than if you never took them in the first place. I loved the concept of the show even if it was a little strange at times however they did well on explaining it and awareness is key in this very misunderstood mental illness.

        • Reet says:

          I have Bipolar disease. I totally agree with Mick. This show was highly inaccurate as it did not account for the half-life of medications. I felt Vanessa Redgrave did an excellent job of portraying the psychiatrist.

  12. dlr929 says:

    If it had to end, I wish the resolve would have felt more complete. It didn’t need to be wrapped up in a neat bow, but having her be fired and the baby daddy show up and need Esme’s life’s blood just wasn’t satisfying for this viewer. I hope someone else picks up the show, maybe Netflix…

  13. TraciTV says:

    Anyone can see this was doa by looking at the previews. Turned off after first 15min of pilot

  14. nguber says:

    I actually am sad that it’s not going forward even though I knew the ratings were terrible. I hoped there might be some sliver of hope for it but knew there was no way ABC was going to keep it. The show definitely grew on me. It still frustrated me from time to time but I got over it and enjoyed the show.

  15. Diz says:

    I think I watched about 4 or 5 episodes before I killed it off the DVR. It was just not good.

  16. tina says:

    I am saddened… this was a great show

  17. Gwen says:

    I really enjoyed it-it was one of the select few programs I make time for in my busy day.

  18. Kelsey says:

    I really enjoyed the show! It was unique and certainly different from the plethora of medical shows on television. I’m very unsatisfied with the cliff-hanger ending… Hopefully it will be picked-up and the story may continue.

  19. Lynn says:

    Really liked this show. My fingers were crossed that it would be renewed : (

  20. Mick says:

    I feel conflicted. I liked the show but it had to be the worst portrayal of mental illness on television.

  21. Stuart C. Hellinger says:

    I’m sorry it is cancelled, but I expected this. “Black Box” was an interesting concept with interesting stories and characters, but a bipolar lead on a broadcast show really never had a chance to succeed. It would be nice if a cable network, maybe Lifetime, picked it up. I would like to see more.

  22. Stephanie says:

    This sucks! This was such an awesome concept. Bring it back!

  23. Dr. Black should join Grey’s Anatomy.

    • Fiberlicious says:

      You know, that’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard…like Elsbeth, the…eccentric…lawyer on Good wife.

  24. #SaveBlackbox!! This great series cannot die!!

  25. Jersey Jeff says:

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. I watched the first episode and was absolutely appalled. The lead character was totally unsympathetic. In real life, her actions deserved jail time. Only in 21st century US television, would a character like that be made the central focus of a show meant to entertain.

  26. Mel Thomas says:

    Blackbox got off to a slow start but ended up being a great show. Kelly Reilly was excellent as Catherine Black and portrayed being bipolar in a way I’ve never seen before. I know the ratings weren’t great. After all, those who don’t have mental illness don’t understand the struggle and probably turned away early on. I stuck with it and am really disappointed. Knowing now that the show is over, I really wish it had a better ending for Catherine.

    • Sarah G says:

      Excellent point, Mel. While many of us with mental illness possibly could relate to Catherine, I imagine it must be difficult-to-impossible for a person without mental illness to even begin to comprehend what she is/was going through.

  27. Terrance Trachet says:

    Happy they do something right. I am on their side. good choice.

  28. Ang. says:

    This show grew on me. I found the cases they worked on intriguing. And I felt like they left the ending totally up in the air. Everything unresolved. I hate when series end that way.

  29. Meh says:

    The commercials promoting this show were terrible. All they did was show her dancing around provocatively in the night, threw in a couple of medical lines and sent it on its way. It made me want to avoid ABC during that time slot. Shocked to hear it’s canceled….nope!

  30. Kathleen says:

    I loved the show and scheduled it to record on the DVR. I think Kelly Riley is excellent in her role, a and loved Vanessa Redgrave was wonderful. If it was going to be cancelled, then I guess the ending was perfect. I’m sad to see it go.

  31. Jill says:

    I only watched half of the first episode, and then I was gone. I really didn’t like her character and the actress was boring.

  32. Judy says:

    I enjoyed Black Box and am sad to see it go.

  33. Sarah says:

    I’m sorry to see it go. I enjoyed the various neurological and psychological diseases du jour.

  34. Annie says:

    Sorry to hear this. I was fascinated by the show and thought Kelly Reilly was captivating, especially since they were dealing with mental illness. Still, it does not belong on network television. In fact, most network TV shows are bland compared to what you can see on cable and the internet.

  35. inksinger says:

    I tried but just couldn’t get behind this show. lt was very forced. Only made it through a couple of episodes.

  36. I really enjoyed this show. It was different than your average show, with jazz backgrounds, a little dark, but hopeful at the same time. I am truly sorry it won’t be back.

  37. Jess says:

    NOOOOO!!! I love this show!! They should at least show what happens with catherine, dr.bickman’s relationship with her, leo and the other interns and whether they get ti work at the cube or not, there’s so many questions unanswered! I hope they decide later to continue, or another channel pick it up! I’m so sad it got canceled

  38. Jay2014 says:

    Stopped watching watching before half of the first episode was over. The moment she started dancing on the stairs I was done. I was so hoping it would pulled in but no not at all. Not surprised by the cancellation.

  39. Shawn Hatnot says:

    That stinks. They take off the best shows, and keep the stupid ones.

  40. Elizabeth says:

    I’m very disappointed with ABC’s decision to cancel Black Box. This is truly one of the best shows currently on TV and the writing and acting is top-notch. I’m appealing to the TV Gods to PLEASE KEEP THIS SHOW ON THIS AIR! It would be such a shame to lose it. I would also like to find alternate ways to bring light to this by way of petition, etc. At the very least, it would be great if another network would pick it up. This show is too well written to not give it a second chance.

  41. Wendy shoemaker says:

    Please please please do not cancel Black box! Stick it out one more season! It is phenominal. I’m a high school teacher. Many students relate to this womam with ups and downs related to Bi-polar disorder! Please take a chance on swason two!!!!!! Please!!!

  42. Ria says:

    Oh nooooo! I really liked this show. Sort of a House/Perception mix. I hope it gets picked up by another network.

  43. shellie Sigal says:

    I enjoyed the series. I thought the characters were edgy, the stories were well thought out and I looked forward to each episode. Very disappointed!

  44. I think the problem was that “Dr Black” was TOTALLY miscast. She was not believable, in fact her casting was just dumb.

  45. I work in a hospital…the part of Dr Black was so miscast that she was TOTALLY unbelievable….she or her part or whatever it was, was so off putting!!!

  46. Ron says:

    Watched 2 shows..that was enough!!!!!

  47. tony gillespie says:

    Very dissapointed by this cancellation. Addressing mental health in a very real, non-criminal, non-fatalistic way is brave and ground breaking move.

    With the right publicity and issues marketing thia ahow woukd catch on. I work In community health promotions. This show is needed.

  48. Colleen Falzone says:

    Please bring Black Box back, it has really helped people with mental health issues and the stigma they face.

    • Susan says:

      I agree with you, Colleen Falzone! I really liked Black Box very much and they didn’t even give it much of a chance. What a horrible shame…

  49. Ivo says:

    I loved this show and I can’t believe it got cancelled!
    Do channels always have to cancel the good shows?!

  50. DENNY says:

    Just discovered Black Box. Only have watched 2episodes and I am captivated. Hope someone picks up this show!!

    • I found out that I have bipolar five years ago and I could relate to the character and the ups and downs. I have to remember to take my meds to be there for my twins. With out them I have nothing, my fertility miracle with my late husband. Good bless all three of them. I have a great life with memory and life.