In a way, the American psychological thriller drama TV series “The Following” on Fox was fortunate that it got to Season 3 even though it was canceled right afterward.
Those who have watched the show right from the beginning know that the TV series lost steam right after its remarkable first season and it was all downhill from there.
The show’s debut ratings were also very evident on how it was received by viewers. During its debut season, it started very strong by getting more than 10 million viewers at one time before settling for an average of eight million viewers.
During its second season, it was already averaging 5.2 million viewers per episode and its record rating figure for Season 3 was already 4.8 million.
Apparently, Fox cannot afford a sleeper TV series at that point that it decided to cancel “The Following” some two weeks after it aired its Season 3 finale on May 18, 2015, notes TV Line.
While there were attempts by some fans to lobby for the revival or rescue of the show from cancellation, the online petition was not able to muster the needed number.
The cast the production staff also knew of the undoing that is why instead of bothering to liaise with other networks or streaming service to help open an avenue for a Season 4 of “The Following,” they just decided to thank the show’s fans for the support.
In fact, Kevin Bacon, who played FBI Agent Ryan Hardy in the TV series, took to Twitter after the official news of show’s cancellation by expressing his big love to all the show’s loyal fans. He added that he found it an honor to work for the fans and that they all poured in sweat, tears, and lots of blood in delivering “The Following” to the small screens, details the Vine Report.
The mind games were the highs
It has been 17 months since “The Following” aired its Season 3 finale. Shortly thereafter, the network decided against renewing the show for a fourth season amid the major cliffhanger left by “The Following” showrunners during the final episode of Season 3.
Despite the subsequent petition by fans at change.org to renew the show for a fourth and final season, Fox stood firm on its decision to cancel “The Following” which was primarily because of the miserable ratings of the TV series.
While the premiere season of “The Following” lived up to its hype as a psychological and suspense drama TV series, it was no longer the same during its second and third season after Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy already put James Purefoy’s Joe Caroll behind bars.
It was obvious that “The Following” had its highs during the first season as highlighted by the mind games between FBI agent Ryan Hardy and serial killer Joe Caroll.
But when that plotline reached its end, it was all downhill from there for “The Following.”
No use beating a dead horse
Many critics are actually saying that had Fox renewed the show for Season 4, the network would have been comparable to beating up a dead horse already and it is likely that the TV series would just wonder aimlessly until a fitting end is decided upon by the showrunners.
Although it is water under the bridge now, “The Following” could have been a great TV series had it carried its momentum from Season 1 to Seasons 2 and 3 but it did not happen unfortunately. The network also does not believe that the showrunners can turn things around in the supposed Season 4 so Fox just decided to minimize its losses and canceled the show after its Season 3 finale.
Although its water under the bridge now, but the reason why the “The Following” actually ended that way during its final episode of Season 3 is because it has more interesting stories to tell.
The revelation came from executive producer Alexi Hawley who said that the Season 3 finale was crafted as a prelude to a possible Season 4. But with Season 4 no longer happening, the Season 3 finale left “The Following” viewers with major unanswered questions.
Hawley further disclosed that the show’s writing team was fascinated by the possibility of a serial killer that was not coming from the poor or middle class of society.