Katey Sagal is speaking up about ABC’s decision to cancel Rebel after just five episodes had aired.
The freshman drama from Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff was one of five shows axed by the network on Friday. Additional casualties included the legal drama For Life and black-ish spinoff mixed-ish (both cancelled after two seasons), veteran family sitcom American Housewife and the Kyra Sedgwick-led freshman sitcom Call Your Mother.
Season to date, Rebel has averaged 3.2 million total viewers and a 0.43 demo rating (in Live+Same Day numbers) — down a tick from A Million Little Things‘ Season 3 averages in the time slot (3.3 mil/0.5). The final five episodes of Rebel will continue to air Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.
Sagal thanked fans for their support in an Instagram post on Monday, also expressing hope that the series would find a new home: “To all the dear rebellious @rebelabc followers. I am so touched by your support for our show. As a cast and great crew and the amazingly talented @kristavernoff have just begun to gel and find our footing, the plug has been pulled, and I feel you and hear your disappointment. I wholeheartedly stand with you.”
She admitted that the “abrupt announcement that there would be no Season 2 based on the response from [five] airings came as a shock and a heartbreak. Things take time to catch on. Rebel tells the story of a woman who speaks up for what is right, the show has heart and purpose, funny and tears, and we, the cast, are all scratching our heads at the reversal of support from ABC.”
The actress added: “As Rebel would say, fight for what you want, make people listen, and in this case, if our show can find another, more suitable place to land, we will do the happy dance. If not, we gave it our all and made our voices heard, which is the message behind Rebel! Always Speak Up!!”
Sagal concluded her message by encouraging fans to sign a petition to save the series and spread the word to others. You can view the petition here.
On Friday, the network also announced that black-ish will return for an eighth and final season. (Check out a complete list of ABC’s renewed and cancelled series here.)