The short lived American military drama “Last Resort”, which followed the renegade crew of a United States Navy ballistic missile submarine the ‘USS Colorado’, was recently cancelled after viewers quickly dropped off. The show was initially met with mostly positive reviews, receiving a score of 74 out of 100 on the rating site Metacritic, and pulling more than 9 million viewers in its premiere. While ABC has agreed to finish airing all 13 episodes of the series, it was not picked up for a second season.
The ill-fated show was co-created by Shawn Ryan for ABC, who went on “Kevin Pollack’s Chat Show” on Sunday night to express his feelings about the cancellation of the series. “I would compare it to if you have a relative who becomes terminally ill,” he said, “You know it’s coming and yet you still are shocked when it happens.”
Last Resort is not the first show, and definitely not the last, to fall victim to the dual curse and blessing of the prime time 8pm Thursday timeslot. Competing against long running shows like “The Big Bang Theory”, “30 Rock” and “The X Factor” it was stiff competition from the start. The show was slotted to be aired before popular long time series “Grey’s Anatomy” as a lead in to try and nab the 19-49 female demographic glued to the television for the drama series. This may have been a fatal nail in the coffin for “Last Resort” as research showed that the military aspect of the show seemed to put off many of the female viewers.
"Our ratings had been on the cusp, or really below the cusp, for a few weeks now. It didn't come as a huge shock," Ryan said. "We were all hoping for a bounce."
This is of course not the end of the line for Ryan when it comes to executive producing for television. He is set to have TV movie “Beverly Hills Cop” released in 2013 of which he is moreover a writer, and is portraying himself in a documentary titled “Showrunners” also to be released in 2013.
"I always prided myself on being someone where I wanted the writing to be invisible and I wanted the whole to exist. I wanted to be able to move between different genres, between different things, and in a way I thought I'd have more ability to do that if I didn't have a signature thing."
It will be interesting to see where the multi-talented producer takes us next with his work.