Powerless Cancelled NBC Season 1 Vanessa Hudgens

Powerless (Essentially) Cancelled at NBC After Remaining Episodes Pulled

NBC is pulling the plug on Powerless.

The superhero-adjacent comedy has been yanked from the Peacock Network’s Thursday night schedule, which means it’s as good as cancelled. The switch starts this week, with Superstore shifting into its former 8:30/7:30c timeslot. (Superstore repeats will run at 8 pm for the next two weeks.)

Powerless, starring Vanessa Hudgens as the research director at a security company that protects average citizens from the superhero battles raging all around them, has struggled in the ratings since its February 2 debut. Last week’s airing pulled a mere 2.1 million total viewers and a 0.6 demo rating — a 30 percent drop in both categories from its Superstore lead-in.

Two episodes of the show’s original 13-episode order still have yet to air — including a guest spot from TV’s original Batman, Adam West. It’s unclear when (or if) those episodes will air. Along with Hudgens, the cast also included sitcom veterans Alan Tudyk (Suburgatory), Danny Pudi (Community), Ron Funches (Undateable) and Christina Kirk (A to Z).

Executive producer Patrick Schumacker tweeted out the sad news to fans on Monday night:

Will you miss Powerless? Drop your thoughts on the cancellation in a comment 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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142 Comments
  1. Tribal Mischief says:

    I guess I was the only one watching. I thought it was enjoyable, not terrific but consistently funny and the quality of the cast certainly outshone the quality of the writing.

    The superhero genre isn’t an automatic win (nor should it be), and frankly I don’t think the major networks have the patience, or the focus for it. So it goes – hopefully we can see the cast in something else soon (especially Ron Funches).

    • Laura says:

      To me, Ron was the best part of the show. Hope he can land something great.

      • Patrick says:

        The rest of the team was too mean to Vanessa’s character out of the gate. It made them pretty unlikeable. She was too naïve, and they were jerks. The Alan Tudyk character was a jerk, but it was intentional and played for laughs. The researchers came off as stereotypical “nerds” who were good at science, bad at everything else, and mean. I loved Abed on community, but I genuinely disliked the actor’s character on this one.
        .
        They should have stuck with the insurance aspect of the pilot. It would have made for a darker show, but there would have been more humor there.

        • cookie says:

          I agree. I watched a couple episodes and the team members were just too mean. They came off as unlikeable jerks.

        • chiguy79 says:

          Agree completely. I love Danny Pudi but he came across as a pompous @ss in this series. As for Alan Tudyk’s character, ever since The Office found that perfect balance of inept but endearing with Michael Scott, every sitcom that has tried to replicate that has failed horribly. I watched all the episodes and it did get better from where it started with a couple hiccups along the way, but really not surprised. I just thought they’d let it run through all the episodes and let it be forgotten.

          • Patrick says:

            IMO it wasn’t actually that good on the office. I thought it got old, quickly. But it was new, and good enough to sustain for a while.

        • Tom says:

          Agree with them being too mean to her/it making them kinda not likeable.

        • Netty says:

          100% Agree about the supporting characters being so mean.
          I was really looking forward to loving this show but I was out after the first three episodes. That supporting cast was just so unlikable…Alan Tudyk’s character was a jerk but he was funny & fun to watch, the rest were just horrible.The premise of the show was really promising , if only it had been done well.

      • jericho says:

        Ron has been the best part of his last two shows.

        But honestly. I was unaware that this show was even airing until this week when I happened upon it. Since everything else was a rerun. It was as enjoyable as other shows that have been picked up with a great cast. Even if it seemed like some of the actors were miscast here.

        Maybe I just do not watch enough NBC (Post Timeless’ and The Good Place’s finales I simply do not watch the networkl, But I just dont remember seeing much promotion for the show at all.

    • James Lewis says:

      I think episode 9 was the strongest episode of the season, and really defined the characters and I was hoping to see episode 10(death of Lois Lane)

  2. jasmine garner says:

    Just let it finish. I liked the show and will miss it

  3. Dave says:

    I always felt like this one would’ve done better on Netflix than network. It actually made me laugh more than most other quote/unquote comedies.

    • Nick Juhacz says:

      Yeh, I agree. It probably would have done better on Netflix. After all, they apparently renewed the absolutely horrid One Day at a Time remake for a second season. Powerless is much funnier than that show.

    • Harmony says:

      I agree, Powerless would have been a great show to binge watch.

      • KT says:

        I agree with you all about Netflix. I have enjoyed watching it, but I kept thinking it would do better if it wasn’t on a major network. I also think the insurance aspect that they dropped could have been entertaining. We never really get to see the aftermath/clean-up after superhero and villain battles and this show could have brought the humor to it.

  4. kate says:

    I would think just let it finish if there is only two left. It just couldn’t find a consistent voice, like it couldn’t decide if it wanted to be totally campy, did it want to be like the Office, all of that stuff. It was getting into a routine to watch it for me and it honestly had an issue basically taking over the Good Place’s spot because that and Superstore, for some bizarre reason, matched each other so well.

  5. Karen says:

    I thought it was cute. Good cast. Interesting and unique premise. Funny. Better than some other junk on TV.

  6. Iakovos says:

    Broadcast programming cannot succeed without cohesive scheduling. Commit! (CBS does it best of the Big 4.) There are too many special event premieres, double pumping, new ep here/repeat there. Create a viewer home and we will find you! Of course, the shows need to be good and well… POWERLESS was not a great comedy.

    • A. Johnson says:

      Agree about the scheduling. I can’t remember a time when it was such a mess on all the major networks. It’s almost like they don’t want to succeed.

  7. Haz says:

    I tried watching it and could never get into it but pulling it with only two episodes left? That’s kind of messed up for the people who stuck with it in favor of Superstore repeats. Why not double them up and air them on Saturday?

  8. Nooooooo!! It’s such a cute show! This is a bummer.

  9. Jane says:

    Great cast, okay show. On the other hand, Trial and Error was fantastic. I’m really hoping that gets another season.

    • Sarah says:

      Trial and Error was greatl! John Lithgow is a national treasure. I have no idea how it was received overall, but I loved it and, like you, hope it will be back.

    • Haz says:

      Trial and Error in my opinion had a weak pilot and the second episode was so-so however over time it found its footing. I am really hoping it gets another season considering how eccentric the characters were in that town they wouldn’t even have to switch locations and could use most of the same cast again. This same thing happened last summer with Braindead I found the pilot awful however by the third episode it found its footing and was very enjoyable.

      • bhimreyes says:

        I think it is because it was serialized. You were able to follow the plot with all it’s twists and turns. “Trial and Error” might be back, but they should have finished “Powerless”. I remember “Seinfeld” wasn’t all that great but they stuck with it. Maybe because we are in a different time where we have to deal with multichannel.

    • Stacy says:

      YES! To me, Trial and Error was the dark horse this season. I loved it, and got some family into it too. I will be really upset if they cancel it.

    • Big Cheddar says:

      I agree. Between the two, if NBC could only save onen I hope it’s Trial and Error.

  10. Kevin Tran says:

    This news makes me very sad. Really going to miss Powerless.

  11. Laura says:

    It had its problems, but it wasn’t *that* bad. With 2 episodes left, couldn’t they have just doubled up this week and been done? Was it really that poisonous to the schedule?

  12. Big Cheddar says:

    Oh man- I was really hoping this one would score a miraculous 2nd season and come back with better scripts. They had a couple of really funny episodes, and a few that were just so-so. I will say this – they had the best opening credits sequence and theme music I’ve heard in a long time, and I’ll miss that.

  13. GuessWhat says:

    looked horrendous. bye bye!

    • Jim Vanburgen says:

      You didn’t watch it but you still found time to make a comment about it? You seem like a useful person.

  14. Julia says:

    It’s a fun, funny comedy with a great cast that deserves to at least finish out it’s run. Networks are losing viewers by moving shows around just as people are just starting to connect.

  15. Steve menner says:

    I am also going to miss powerless. I was hoping they were at least air the last two episodes and it is was only show with superhero that I watch.

  16. Billy meacham says:

    So NBC just wasting our time? Just burn the episodes off on Saturday night since cbs does it.

  17. maltru says:

    I don’t see the point in pulling it at this stage- with two episode left, why not just sacrifice them on a Saturday night or something, so that the dozen of us watching can finish it out? They should’ve either pulled it early, when it was clear it wasn’t going to be a hit, or just let it die a quiet, dignified death, but this last second yank seems cruel.

  18. Kelly Uhler says:

    Darn! I actually liked that show.

  19. KCatty says:

    It’s sad… I think if this show had debuted 5 years ago, it would have probably gotten a second season and the potential was there for it to grow into a great little show.

    In today’s TV landscape, though, the networks seem largely unwilling to let a little show find its comedic footing. And here, while Powerless had potential, it’s season had more misses than hits, so I don’t entirely blame NBC for pulling the plug (though I think they should have at least burned off the last two episodes…maybe they’ll make them available exclusively online?).

  20. lastfrontier84 says:

    I watched the pilot and deleted the other episode I had recorded. It’s a horrible show and nothing like I thought it would be. It went through many retools so apparently the creators didn’t know either.

    • Mike M says:

      In the original Pilot the team were worked at a life insurance company covering superhero related deaths. After it was picked up to series, it was changed to a Wayne corp subsidiary focused on creating products that prevent innocent bystanders from being hurt. WTF they were thinking who knows as that original pilot was hilarious.

  21. I never understand why they pull a show when they have a few episodes left to put on. Just let it run to the end and be done.. Instead they rather put reruns? Makes no sense.

  22. Luis Roman says:

    It was an interesting idea with so-so execution. Need more Ron Funches and Alan Tudyk on TV!

  23. Kim says:

    I was watching but whenever I thought there was a new episode it was a rerun. That gets very tiring after awhile.

  24. Ken says:

    Another completely enjoyable comedy that was lighthearted and funny that has been yanked before allowing to finish. Shame NBC.

  25. Jason says:

    How hard is it to show two more episodes. Put them on Saturday at eight if you’re just looking to burn them off. They did the same thing with Welcome to Sweden. Although they had more episodes left.

  26. Harmony says:

    Awww, I really like Powerless. It’s such a cute show.

  27. chrys says:

    I would have loved to watch the rest of the episodes. I thought the show was great. Hopefully it can be picked up somewhere else so we can see the rest of the episodes.

  28. Regina says:

    I’m totally bummed. Loved the show and the fantastic cast all around. Agree with all that they should have just aired the final episodes to finish off the season.

  29. Ann says:

    I think the show had potential to grow into some better. 30 Rock and Parks and Rec took several seasons for it to found its groove. I think, with the terrific cast they had, Powerless had that same potential. But we’ll never know because NBC pulled the trigger too soon. Seriously, they didn’t have anything else on tv, they might as well have let it air the final two episodes….maybe revamp the series for another midseason debut next year and let it grow a bit.

  30. Joanne says:

    :( really enjoyed this show… My son loved it..

  31. Amy J says:

    I didn’t tune in after they switched the premise. An insurance company in a superhero world was a good premise. An a jerk boss in middle management is something everyone can relate to. Tossing that all into some Wayne enterprise story took away the potential charm.

  32. T.W.S.S. says:

    I expected it to get canceled, but at least burn off the remaining episodes or make them available on the NBC app.

  33. MB says:

    I wanted to see Natalie Morales play Fire; I got to see Natalie Morales play Fire. It wasn’t particularly funny or entertaining, but I got what I wanted from the show.

  34. Cathy c says:

    I actually was enjoying this show :(

  35. E. D. Boddy says:

    The two times I DVR”d the show, I got some other show they replaced it with (but didn’t update the program guide) instead. Maybe airing it AS SCHEDULED, and not playing hide-and-seek with it, would have helped.

  36. mr.j says:

    noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! this show was actually funny better then any NBC comedy show. #bringbackpowerless lets start this trend.

  37. Cate says:

    I watched the first 4 or 5 and it was just dull for show with kind of a fun premise. Little charisma from the cast especially poor Vanessa Hudgens but mainly just poorly written. It was mostly a not very original workplace comedy and I’m afraid it deserved the hook.

  38. TV Gord says:

    If they release a DVD with the unaired episodes, I would buy it just for the Adam West appearance.

  39. Boo! My family and I love this show! Hilarious perspective on superhero genre. Are we powerless to stop this tragedy?

  40. Tom says:

    Sad but not surprising news, and now I’m missing Suburgatory, Community, and non-live Undateable again.

  41. Jar says:

    This show was awful with too many unlikeable characters.

  42. Ben says:

    I wasn’t a fan of this show. But it’s always sad to see someone’s hard work being pulled.

  43. Tomm Huntre says:

    I watched three episodes. I never laughed once. It was amusing but not funny.

    In terms of tone, it reminded me of a Sid & Marty Kroft 1970s show. Vanessa got hosed on this project.

  44. Keely says:

    Maybe if they promoted it a bit more and showed back to back episodes like “Trial & Error” it could’ve survived. I wish they’s at least show the remaining episodes.

  45. Grail says:

    This just reinforces that NBC show not be given superhero shows. Remember what they did to Constantine? One of the best hero shows out there. I am now done with NBC, they have nothing left to offer.

  46. Erica says:

    I enjoyed it.

  47. Cranky says:

    It was slow to start, but I’ve really enjoyed the last few episodes. This sucks.

  48. John NYC says:

    I liked its humor. Oh well, too bad.

  49. Jc says:

    Great show, best comidy. Actually made me laugh. Hope to see it on another network or Netflix.

  50. Kotah says:

    That’s a shame cause I thought the show was getting better but did anyone else have the feeling that NBC was airing the episodes out of order? I had that feeling through the shows while run. Maybe but last eps on Hulu?