TV Guide’s Matt Roush recently fielded an interesting question on why ABC hasn’t cancelled Grey’s like it just did with Desperate Housewives. Check out what he had to say below.
Question: The cancellation of Desperate Housewives after Season 8 is surprising, because I know ABC renegotiated for two additional seasons on the main ladies’ contracts, so I had expected its final run to be 2012-13. The show is nowhere near its terrific first season in quality, and has been more erratic than any show I watch besides Glee, but I’m still going to miss it because despite the ridiculous storylines, the characters remain appealing. Honestly, the show has become such an ingrained Sunday night habit that I can’t quite imagine it ending. (The ending of Lost was easier to wrap my head around because it always moved time slots anyway, so the “habit” factor wasn’t part of the equation.) I’m sure I will accept it by May, but I am wondering why this is happening to this show this year instead of to Grey’s Anatomy.
We know that all of Grey’s original cast who are still there (Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, Jr.) have deals expiring at the end of this season. Other cast members who came in later are probably still under contract, but Sara Ramirez, Eric Dane and Chyler Leigh have, at most, only a few years more themselves. They’ve weathered cast departures before, but I’m not interested in watching the show if they have a mass exodus of main characters all at once. But it seems impossible that ABC would allowGrey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives to both end this year, so I’m not sure why they chose to let Desperate go yet. It seems Grey’s would be the more logical choice to let go off, andDesperate could hang on for 2012-13 because they already renegotiated with the key cast. Grey’shas a much larger key ensemble they need to keep, and I’m afraid of what happens if Meredith, Derek, Cristina, Alex, Bailey and Webber walk out of Seattle Grace at the same time. — Jake
Matt Roush: The difference here being that Marc Cherry, Housewives‘ creator, saw the end looming and took what appears to be a pro-active move to stem further creative (and possibly ratings) decline, whereas Shonda Rhimes doesn’t appear to be at that stage yet with the show that put her on the map. Whether that’s denial remains to be seen, but it’s not a foregone conclusion yet just which or how many Grey’s cast members will stay beyond this season. A mass exodus seems unlikely, but should it become clear that major core characters like Meredith, Derek and a few choice others may not return, that would be the beginning of the end. And I would hate to see Grey’s end up like ER, limping along with second-tier characters for years and fading into the sunset, which is exactly the fate Cherry is hoping to prevent for Housewives by ending it a season early than many expected. I applaud this move, by the way, but am worried that if ABC can’t generate a new hit from this year’s development to become a new Sunday anchor, the network will be in serious trouble. And it’s also why ABC can’t afford to lose its Thursday centerpiece of Grey’s just yet, regardless of how things work out on the show this season.
Definitely an interesting take on things. I think he’s right in that most people who love Grey’s would hate to see it die a long, slow death. Better to end on a high note. However, I think what is interesting is what people would consider to be a good time for it to come to an end. There are those who can’t imagine the show without originals like Meredith and Derek. But then there are those whose favorite characters came later in the show, like Owen or Callie, etc. How do you feel? If some originals leave after Season 8, should it end? Or will you watch even with some major cast departures? Personally, I’m so addicted to this show, I’ll probably watch til the (hopefully not) bitter end. What about you? Sound off below.
Thanks to Chris for sending this in!