Pulling Whiskey Cavalier from the field after its freshman run was both “a very tough decision” as well as the final decision that ABC entertainment chief Karey Burke made ahead of announcing the schedule for the 2019-20 TV season.
The Whiskey premiere was given a cushy sneak-preview following the Academy Awards in February. But the show’s numbers had eroded ever since, and as of May 9 — when it hit season lows — its 0.57 demo average made it ABC’s third-lowest-rated drama (besting only fellow midseason entries The Fix and For the People, both of which have also been cancelled).
With DVR playback, though, it enjoyed the third-largest boost of any ABC series, rising 117 percent in the demo.
“We felt like we gave it a very strong launch this spring and it had its chance to do what it could do,” Burke told reporters on Tuesday morning. But at the end of the day, “we lost audience” and opted to instead “try something new” — the Cobie Smulders-led Stumptown — in that Wednesday time slot.
“We looked for other time slots [for Whiskey Cavalier] but did not see a real opportunity to grow,” the exec added.
Our sister site Deadline says producer Warner Bros. TV is shopping the series to other outlets.
Series co-lead Scott Foley addressed the cancellation (alongside tearful wife/guest star wife Marika Dominczyk) in a May 12 Instagram video, calling the decision a “tough call” for ABC.