Thursday night saw Council of Dads star J. August Richards confirm via social media the cancellation of the NBC drama.
So that’s a series wrap on #CouncilOfDads (aka the show has been cancelled)… I want to thank @JoanRater and @TonyTphelan for the willingness to give voice and representation to #gayfamilies, #blacklgbt, #qpoc and the worldwide #lgbtq community by telling the story of… pic.twitter.com/GN5f1CvjWs
— J. August Richards (@jaugustrichards) June 25, 2020
The news comes less than a week until broadcast contracts expire and with nothing begging the network to extend cast contracts, it makes sense for news to leak in advance of the show’s July 2nd series finale. Through its first eight episodes, Council of Dads averaged a 0.39 in the 18-49 demo, not far from the mid 0.3 averaged by fellow cancelled newbies Indebted and Sunnyside. Good Girls and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist aren’t that far ahead at a 0.42, but the former has a lucrative Netflix deal in its corner while the latter is especially strong digitally and serves as one of NBC’s big Emmy bets this year.
The cancellation of Council of Dads makes 2019-20 the third consecutive season to feature an emotional NBC drama stumbling in the ratings. Small town musical theater drama Rise disappointed both critically and commercially in 2017-18, while apartment complex drama The Village had an especially quiet and unheralded run in 2018-19. The network has quite clearly been looking to harness the considerable ratings power of This Is Us into building out its non-procedural drama slate, but fans of that show don’t seem too interested in watching multiple weepers at a time. The closest thing NBC has to a This Is Us doppelganger for 2020-21 is James Wolk drama pilot Ordinary Joe, which follows the three parallel lives that splinter off when its main character makes a pivotal decision at a major turning point in his life.
Now that the fate of Council of Dads has been decided, the lone remaining 2019-20 freshman series still in limbo is CW dramedy Katy Keene. The series, a Riverdale spinoff starring Lucy Hale, finished its 13-episode first season in mid-May and has been on Warner streaming service HBO Max since its inception. The CW has reportedly been waiting for streaming data in order to make a better informed renewal decision.