Calling the decision to pull the plug on the sitcom after one season “tough,” ABC president Karey Burke explained that the series was simply not performing at a level the network needed it to. “The Kids Are Alright was a good show — I liked [it], personally,” she told reporters Monday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour. “It was not that it didn’t fit my personal vision for the network. It was that we really looked at it… from a ratings perspective, and we just did not see enough upside.
“We looked at many measures,” Burke continued. “We looked at multi-platform viewing. We looked at social media sentiment. There did not seem to be a strong enough fan base at the time. These things always come down to business decisions, and this was a tough, tough decision.”
Though The Kids Are Alright came in 23rd out of 29 options in TVLine’s recent poll about which bubble shows viewers most wanted to see get renewed, it had done OK in the ratings (at least when it was being buoyed by The Conners as a lead-in). Ahead of its freshman season finale, it was averaging an 0.87 in the demo, besting five other ABC comedies (black-ish, Splitting Up Together, Fresh Off the Boat, Speechless and Bless This Mess). And more than 90 percent of respondents in a poll asking whether the network should keep or cut the nostalgia trip voted to keep it.