Mercy Street Cancelled After 2 Seasons

The doctors of Mercy Street have made their final house call.

PBS’ Civil War-era medical drama — starring Josh Radnor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead — has been cancelled, with the recent Season 2 finale now serving as a series finale, Deadline reports. Funding issues and trouble aligning production timelines are said to be the motivations behind the decision to wrap the series.

“We sought to bring a time and place to life that is so important to understanding American history, and in a way that was meaningful, authentic and entertaining,” executive producer David Zucker said in a statement.

“Together, we delivered 12 hours of compelling and worthwhile storytelling which we all take pride in,” added fellow EP David Zabel. “It was five years in the making and we are grateful to PBS for its loyal support.”

Mercy Street‘s sophomore run wrapped on Sunday, March 5.

Are you disappointed to see Mercy Street come to an end? Did its recent finale give you the closure that you need?

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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172 Comments
  1. Guy says:

    This was a show?

    • betty buffett says:

      I bet GUY likes junk like Bachelorette, or the Bachelor, or nonsense like the sit coms that are on now. how about the Mistresses Guy. I bet you learned a lot from that one!!!

    • DebG says:

      Yes it was, and a very good show at that. I’m really disappointed in PBS for not continuing on with this show. It was great to see an intelligently written American period piece. I’m very glad I didn’t buy into the BLACKMAIL tactics they used during the pledge break at the finale. The very fact that they rely almost solely on the BBC to provide their programming makes me wonder where those pledge dollars are going.

      • Katherine says:

        Probably into making or buying rights to shows we never would see on cable otherwise as well as news. They get much of their funding through pledges, but it also comes from the Gov…sorry, CAME. You have the tasteless imbeciles who cut off funding to the National Endowment for the Arts…and those who either never thought of these beautiful services or wrote them off completely at the ballot box to thank for this… Kudos to them, they’re doing a good job of it.
        Well, that and some of the actors taking conflicting deals. Which, again, may verý well be due to money. The lesson here is that you can never leave good, quality shows to hang in the open in the American markets and trust they will survive… Laissez-faire Capitalism will starve them out, beat them out, or block them out, given half a chance, every time. And those who have enough appreciation for them to bother giving often cannot give enough to make a difference. Is it any wonder that PBS gets so many of its programs from the BBC? Quality period dramas–for that matter, most quality televised entertainment that makes people THINK–just cannot SURVIVE in a place like the USA. Unfortunately the most powerful nation in the world is overrun by utter ignorami, and this is collateral.

      • Zoe says:

        Thank you for bringing that up. I thought it was shady of them to ask us to donate right after the show and then less then a week later cancel it. Something everyone should be aware of is that a lot of TV stations are being sold (WUSF) or moving around to make room for Wifi/cellphone frequencies. Running a public station is costly and in end they are being sold off for millions of dollars to make room on those frequencies.

  2. Butch says:

    That is terrible news. I liked this show.

    • Veronica Z. says:

      I agree with you. It is unfortunate that Mercy Street has been cancelled. It was a good show that was very realistic; it allowed the viewer to experience the civil war from the perspective of the people that were living it.

  3. Abby says:

    I liked the show, that’s too bad it’s not coming back.

  4. Ellen says:

    Seriously. A great show with layered history. It was wonderful. The cancellation is a loss for views.

  5. Donna Salvi says:

    Very disappointing news for our family. We really enjoyed the show.

  6. Sammie says:

    Loved the show. Too bad it is not coming back.

  7. Ann says:

    Oh, I didn’t even know this show existed! It sounds so interesting…and Josh Radnor is in it! PBS needs to find better ways to promote their shows other than Downton Abby and Sherlock Holmes.

  8. Schatzi49 says:

    One by one my favorite shows are being cancelled. Oh well will probably be replaced with another reality show I can completely ignore.

  9. Zoe says:

    It was last reported they were looking for a sponsor for a third season. It was a good show.

  10. christine harris says:

    I wil miss it; I watched it every Sunday

  11. Fran Potvin says:

    So sorry to see this show leave. The acting and story lines were so great. Looked forward to watching this every Sunday evening right before Victoria, which is also a great show.

  12. Diane says:

    Really liked this show. Hoping another network will pick it up!
    No the ending still left things unresolved. I love these period shows! Showing how people lived and managed bad in the good old days!

  13. Lisa says:

    I loved it. Please #savemercystreet on twitter or other places so hopefully someone will swoop in!

  14. Sue says:

    Sad that Mercy street us not coming back

  15. Tammy says:

    So disappointed it won’t be back! I really loved this show…

  16. Bella says:

    Sorry to say I won’t miss Mercy Street too much!

  17. Very disappointed to hear Mercy has been cancelled. Really liked this show a lot!

  18. Carole Pucci says:

    Sorry to hear that Mercy Street has been cancelled, I was so looking forward to Season 3. Season 2 left some things unanswered. I will miss it.

  19. Len Rosenthal says:

    A very big loss for my wife and I. It is sad and pathetic that PBS is unable to sustain a single drama production per year. And yes, there were at least two more series that could easily have been done. Are we just an outpost for UK shows – we are long tme watchers of Masterpiece? Yet just when PBS has a hit drama made here and about arguably the most inportant time in our post Revolutiinary War history, PBS pulls the plug. The final episode of the season did not bring closure at all.

    • Fabrizia says:

      Clearly it was not a hit drama. Bad ratings and super expensive, airing British shows is much cheaper.

  20. Terje Brandshaug says:

    My wife and I contribute $ to PBS and we are very disappointed because we really enjoyed this show.

  21. TvLover says:

    Well that’s a shame.
    Although, in my opinion I felt that Mercy Street’s season finale felt a lot like a series finale, which was fine for me. And the show did get one more season than I thought it would.
    I was very impressed by every performance on the show. I especially enjoyed McKinley Belcher III, who played Samuel Diggs and hope to see him on tv again.

  22. Georgia says:

    Another good one bites the dust — NOT good news! Wish there could be a Season 3.

    • Faye Albertson says:

      I agree. Too much of a cliffhanger to not have a follow-up series. Too bad to lose such a well-written and well-produced series that could easily support another season.

  23. Nero tTVfiddler says:

    Liked the show, sorry to see it end. However, grafteful for season 1 and 2. The series hopefully provided a nice transition period for Josh Radnor post-HIMYM. Of all the cast and crew, (I’ve taken notice of each one in their career choices since HIMYM ended in March 2014), I like the choice Josh made. Somewhat low key, but still broadcast (limited) series television – in this case, PBS.

    I wish him the best and good wishes to his co-stars on Mercy Street – I hope they find their next projects to be as fulfilling as I’m sure they found Mercy to be.

  24. Lorraine Rizzuto says:

    so sorry to see it go, hope someone else picks it up, educational with good acting, directing and story line.

  25. betty buffett says:

    this was a wonderful show. i can’t understand why they have cancelled another show, that made sense, in a plethora of nonsense, esp. the sit coms that are on now!!!! too bad!!!!

  26. Well, that’s unfortunate news. While it had a somewhat rough start, the show really found its stride in season 2. And while American shows are yet able to compete with British period productions in terms of quality, this was a step in the right direction. Hopefully, PBS will try again and do a better job at advertising.

    • Nero tTVfiddler says:

      Well said. Mercy is a step in the right direction… a chance/start at a more ‘Americanized’ version of UK’s Masterpiece Theatre. Nothing wrong with all the UK-imports on PBS, but it would be nice from time to time to have something with a more US-centric history perspective in the way of a period drama.

      I guess it comes down to ratings? If the numbers are not there (the viewers not there in sufficient numbers), the production costs cannot be met. Yet, Mercy was drawing good numbers relative to ‘similar PBS material’, with the exception of Downton Abbey. Somehow, must get costs in line with funding expectations, and that does mean production quality will not be able to compete with UK productions. At that point, it comes down to story, story, story. The story has to be compelling year over year, season after season.

  27. Melissa says:

    Nooo! Time for Amazon to save this one!

  28. boxmel says:

    I really enjoyed the show and am very sorry it was cancelled. Great acting and true telling of a historic period in America. I would, however, like to know that Mary didn’t die and that she and Josh Radnor ended up together. I was not impressed with Anna Sophia Robb’s part – she was way too sugary southern.

  29. mary says:

    PBS needs to promote these smaller productions, not just the bigger ones. Social media, like Facebook-all that is on there is Victoria, Victoria, Victoria. Even going to the local website for our PBS it wasn’t even listed.

  30. sagiow says:

    Nooooooo… such a great show! We need Season 3 (and 4, and 5)! #SaveMercyStreet

  31. Mary Pearl says:

    I loved Mercy Street, not a lot of meaningful shows on TV, this was a good one, sorry that it was cancelled!!

  32. Doug Henning says:

    My guess is M.E. Winstead’s pricetag might be too stiff for this show.. As it is, they wrote her out of 2 episodes and probably had her final scenes shot in advance so she could do “BrainDead”… Now she is leading the next Season of FARGO which already looks like fun. Mercy Street was pretty interesting TV of a time not really done on TV at all.. the Civil War period. My guess is they got some of the actors to sign up at a time when they weren’t busy so at a discount. PBS strictly works on funding not audience and my guess is the underwriters weren’t interested in a Season 3… Virginia was pretty proud of it.. The DVD’s were sold in the gift shops in the Va tourism offices off the Interstates..

  33. Gloria B says:

    Mercy Street was a quality program. I am very disappointed that it will not return. I hope this will be rethought.

  34. Mary Kelly says:

    I thought the show was outstanding, and I doubt very seriously that the reason for the cancelation is the true reason! Like hiding the Confederate Flag…does NOT change how things WERE..it is called history and those that keeping trying to hide the past are DOOMED in the future!

  35. Mary Ann says:

    Very sad there will be no season 3 . Mercy street was one of my favorite Shows on Masterpiece.

  36. Carmen Willey says:

    Will miss Winstead—such a good actress and they should not have made her sick and sent away. I watched it for her—good actress to watch.

  37. Catherine Finley says:

    just when it was really picking up with interest and suspense. very sad indeed

  38. inga says:

    with wars here and there in many places in the world, i started becomming interested in american civil war, daily life and dramas, hospital, surgeons, nurses,also politics interest me. too bad there is no 3rd season. the conclusion in season 2, mary and jed finally got togetter, slavery abolished, at least make me feel better.

  39. Zoe says:

    Very disappointing for public television.
    Upsetting that no one came forward to fund a third season .
    Most of the actors went between multiple projects. The actor from Killjoys , did this show ,killjoys and atleast 3 Hallmark movies this year.
    It’s also a sad time for American tv production.
    I find it puzzling that with all of the tax cuts for the top 1% being implemented that no one came forward to donate to the show.

  40. Laurel Lane says:

    I couldn’t get past the 4th episode – everything was so cliche’d; I’d seen much of those situations on much better productions. I do wish The Crimson Field had gotten a second season tho – that one was outstanding….

    • PJ says:

      Totally agree. I was looking forward to this – subject matter and the actors but it really didnt do anything for me. Very predictable and cliche. Made it through the first two eps and that was enough. However very sorry to those that did like it.

      • Kate Gardner Koontz says:

        I agree with PJ. Actors slipped in and out of their accents. Most compelling to me were the lives of slaves & free men and medical scenes. I often felt as though the writers were throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. I would have still watched a Season 3!

  41. Lil says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I thought the show was making great progress.. sad..

  42. queenbrat says:

    I loved this show. For history buffs who want a realistic depiction of medicine in the Civil War it was amazing. The acting was great, the period dress, and they never shied away from being realistic.The depiction of freed slaves and their struggles was engrossing. I will miss it.

  43. Jane says:

    Boooooo! It was such a good show.

  44. I really liked this show and was so looking forward to the next season! I’m so bummed!

  45. Mimi Leonard says:

    It is extremely diasapointing to learn that this wonderful show has ended. It is a question of funding. I agree with many of the other comments, this show did not hesitate to depict life as it was. The language was ‘real’ yet no outcry about it. I especially enjoyed learning how medicine was handled during that time period. Very, very sad. BTW, for those concerned, Mary survived.

  46. T.W.S.S. says:

    The first three episodes were a bit slow, but the series picked up serious steam after Tom’s death. Season two was phenomenal; “Unknown Soldier” is a fabulous piece of television. This short-lived show will be thoroughly missed.

  47. heydoo says:

    This was a great show. What about Hulu? Netflix? Amazon? C’mon, let’s get creative.

  48. ALM says:

    Let me start this by saying I LOVE most period dramas. This one, not so much. It was not a good choice for PBS as it did not match many of Masterpiece dramas it aired with in tone. It was too dark, both literally and figuratively, for me. It needed more light moments interspersed with all of the dark ones. I know it was showing a terrible time, but it still could have used a little lightening up. This seemed to be more of a fit for other networks like HBO or Amazon Prime. I hope PBS tries another original period drama but matches it more to what it is shown alongside.

    • Robert Chandler says:

      It was a war!!! And about wounded and dying soldiers! I’m certain we could come up with lots of jokes and other lighthearted material. Go watch re-runs of M.A.S.H.! That will please you.

  49. Lana Angel says:

    Noooo! This has been my favorite show. Excellent writing, compelling storylines, enough humor to give respite from the grim setting, great acting,

    I am a relentless optimist, so I hope that the show will make a comeback. The South won’t rise again, but Mercy Street just might!

    In keeping with my optimism and with a splash of intuition, I *know* Mary lived and would have come back on the show.

    Thank you for such a marvelous series.