‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing!

Season 4 of the American thriller drama TV series “The Following”starring Kevin Bacon was cancelled by Fox just days after its Season 3 finale aired on May 18 last year.

While many attributed the cancellation to poor ratings of the TV series that started to show beginning in its second season, critics think that “The Following,” just like many other shows before it, has fallen victim to lazy writing, notes Variety.

Based on its two-hour Season 3 finale, “The Following” actually reflected how it squandered its assets, with the end coming two years and many dozens of killings, which was a bit too late.

The mind games between Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy and James Purefoy’s Joe Caroll may have been the lifeblood of the show, but “The Following” overstayed its welcome among many of its viewers and had a grim streak beginning in Season 2 all the way to Season 3.

The series should have ended with the cat-and-mouse game between Hardy and Caroll but the show’s modest first season success necessitated a new season and new wrinkles as well, thus unleashing several rival sets of psychopaths to sustain the program in the next two seasons.

Eventually, everyone realized that the show was using a very tired formula so it wandered off from its basic premise as Ryan begin to go a bit crazy himself especially when his nemesis Caroll was finally executed.

With Purefoy’s character gone, there was not much for the show to move forward to because of the apparent lazy writing as the writers no longer want to think outside of the box, thus confining the show to its own walls.

While “The Following” had a solid cast of supporting actors including Shawn Ashmore, the TV show actually wasted great talents like Zuleikha Robinson and Jessica Stroup, who became mere footnotes in the TV series.

Show’s last hurrah on Netflix

Right before the turn of the New Year, all 15 episodes of Season 3 of the American thriller drama TV series “The Following” has been aired on Netflix.

While some optimists believe that it could open up the possibility for the Kevin Bacon-starrer to be possibly rescued from cancellation by the streaming service by considering a fourth season sometime down the road, it looks like the airing of the TV series on Netflix is just the show’s last hurrah.

Apparently, Netflix just wanted to build its library of TV series, which shall eventually come in handy in the future.

After its reports of cancellation in May last year following the airing of its Season 3 finale episode, there had been reports that the TV show will eventually make it to Netflix.

Apparently, the TV series was merely a last-minute arrangement between Fox and Netflix so most fans believed that “The Following” Season 3 could be streamed on Netflix during the fall.

However, since there is no fourth season for the TV series, there was also no pressure for Netflix to release its Season 3 to its consumers.

It is standard operating procedure for a network or content creator to release its previous year’s content just before the new season, in order to serve as a promotion tool. But since “The Following” has already been cancelled, both Fox and Netflix are no longer obliged to do the same.

the following scene

A breakout hit during Season 1

Reports have it that the Fox decided to cancel the show because of falling ratings. Although “The Following” has a loyal viewer base particularly in the 18-49 years old viewer demographics, the competition was just too much in the same timeslot that some of the viewers wandered off to the other shows.

As a result, “The Following” suffered a significant decline in the ratings, particularly during its Season 3 that aired last year until May 18.

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  • Sarah kean

    Get a grip of yourselves,you cannot start a series then decide ‘eh no am done’ I’ve followed the following from day one and am absolutely Disgusted that you would think it’s ok to just axe the show! I absolutely love Kevin Bacon now whom I didn’t before The Following,you need to get a grip of yourselves because you e just cancelled out the following and detectives-sometimes change isn’t good for goodness sake

    • maxine lowe

      Totally agree with you why do they do this and its not the only one either x

  • Sarah kean

    I’m done in with all your comments,I’m not a tv watxhee anything like that but whilst pregnant with my wee miracle I started watching the following and you have all just looked after yourselves because you’s have the money and power-but what about us that actually watch?? You don’t care-I’m very hurt and upset because it was the only series with detectives that kept me going,but hay,make your money-we obviously don’t matter-the ones that are taking notice and interest

    • maxine lowe

      It’s 2017 now and was hoping by now they may have got new writers in and come up with a good ending at least

  • Patrick

    OK. I will provide substantive, creative writing that will attract millions in viewers. The cast is accomplished and I will step forward that series continue. Please contact my agent.

    • maxine lowe

      Go for it!!

      • Isabela Garcia

        Plleeaasseee finish/continue the series. The following is life 😍

  • Richard Drayton

    Writing was pretty bad in season one. If the FBI really made that many silly mistakes we would all be dead. However, the show grew mainly through Bacon who got better and better. I almost stopped after season one, but wanted it to continue at the end of season 3. You were just building some bond with Bacon and family. I’ve met Kevin as I knew his father, but he just never grabbed me on screen until The Following. You should have let him continue and you could have had all sorts of fun with sister, wife, child, Mike new brother-in-law although not a very believable pair. Too bad. Just as you finally had me for as many seasons as you like, you cancel. Our brilliant new age t.v. executives proving why they are hopelessly over paid. I’d step in and write, give it some much better dialogue and you could take this out a few more seasons easy. Try to find anything on t.v. these days that builds loyalty except Fox News??? Shortsighted morons as we have come to expect.

    • maxine lowe

      On last season I thought bacon may have become like Joe using fbi as cover with bacon becoming insane like Joe

  • MJ Lind

    You cancel the show they actually kept my attention but you’ll promote all of this crap. Referring to all of the garbage reality TV shows that are horrible and an insult to my intelligence . Really I need to know about the housewives from Jersey or from LA. At least this made me think a bit and kept me hanging on even though I’ve got a bit stupid sometimes it was better than any of the garbage that’s on TV now.

    • Sue

      I completely agree. I didn’t end up getting a chance to watch the three seasons until the beginning of 2017 but let me tell you compared to all those stupid reality shows like house wives of all these places… really – they’re so stupid. I think the plot at the end of season three showed promise. Just fire the writers and find the creativity With new ones.
      Most of theactors were good in the following Hardy and Joe had great chemistry and that something that they could have expanded on once Joe died him being the kind a devil on hardy’s shoulder. You really did love to hate Joe but he was a perfect character. He had an innocent look to him because of his eyes at certain points so that you almost believed there was a piece of goodness inside, then he’d shock you again. I would switch out Hardy’s Love interest. She doesn’t fit. Mike and Max are great characters as well. Come on Netflix I’ve been paying for you for years, and haven’t agreed on everything you’ve put on there for us. So do us this one favour pick up the following for at least one more season and if it’s not good, then create an ending, but if it’s good will all watch it

  • Chalmer

    I loved this show from day one and currently bing watching the entire show again but I do agree that season was poorly written even though theo was a breakout performance from Michael Ealy. And killing off Joe Carroll (James Purfoy) was a big mistake cause his character was the most intriguing. The things about season 3 that really got under my skin Weston should’ve died after killing mark, the whole Tom Ryes story line was sloppy, and the ending Theo gets shot in the head gets up Falls with Ryan over the side of the bridge Ryan manages to hang on and then let’s go and sneaks into a hospital past cops and friends and family who all think he just died and kills an FBI agent and sneaks back out.

  • Season 1 was okay, however, it became lame after that!!!!!! It was as if Bacon was never going to save his wife and the crazy people kept on killing,,,and by the way, what was really the point of that? They were in it for the thrill? Whatever… like they said.,,,lazy writing. I got bored with it and so did a lot of others that watched. I’m glad it ended!!!

  • I’m glad it ended! It got really stupid and it was extremely lazy writing after season one!!!!!!

  • Randy Phillips

    I love this show !! I would be great if Netflix would pick it up big mistake by fox another one . I really would like to see 4 season

  • Kel

    Whyyyyyy i want to see what happens you fox really suck to leave such a big cliffhanger and the axe it whyyyyy

  • Bill Nye

    This show is the fucking bomb ass dorito type show. Meaning it’s great.

  • Bill Nye

    Hey me again it’s really good

  • carina laude

    Best sjow ever from beginning to the end. It is too bad that season 4 was cancelled .

  • Trudy kepke

    I have just watched all 3 seasons and ive loved every part of it…. Firstly ive never liked kevin bacon at all until he played this part and he was great. Big mistake made killing off joe carroll..what a man handsone funny and like the baddie and the goodie… I cried when he died…thats when i then thought…where is this going to go now? But even though i was sad about joe being killed off it still had me intrigued and watching til the last episode. I cant believe you axe things without actually trying to find out how many people actually liked watching the show……your all mad and just money orientated people.
    Im lost without it now. And need to see james gorgeous purfoy in something else now.

  • Anna

    I absolutely Love The Following ; series like this are rare and to say it’s
    canceled because of the writing being lazy is total nonsense .
    The Following was exceptional and should be brought back….
    the interesting characters , action scenes , plot lines , impressive acting.
    This series had so many great qualities and a few I didn’t mention ; I have
    seen posted that Netflix is in the process or working on owning rights to
    The Following to keep the series ALIVE ….that would be Awesome !

    • Blaquediva

      It’s completely insane!!! I almost couldn’t blink! Yes!!! #alive

  • Blaquediva

    OMG!!!!!! I love this show!!! Put your creative thinking caps on and come back to us!!! Big mistake cancelling show. #modsquad

  • PeteT

    Agreed – more please. Liked all 3 seasons, and lots of scope to develop this show even without the excellent James Purefoy. [He was superb in Hap and Leonard this year.] Really like the chemistry in the ensemble, especially Jessica Stroup with Kevin Bacon.

  • Sue

    I completely agree. I didn’t end up getting a chance to watch the three seasons until the beginning of 2017 but let me tell you compared to all those stupid reality shows like house wives of all these places… really – they’re so stupid. I think the plot at the end of season three showed promise. Just fire the writers and find the creativity With new ones.
    Most of theactors were good in the following Hardy and Joe had great chemistry and that something that they could have expanded on once Joe died him being the kind a devil on hardy’s shoulder. You really did love to hate Joe but he was a perfect character. He had an innocent look to him because of his eyes at certain points so that you almost believed there was a piece of goodness inside, then he’d shock you again. I would switch out Hardy’s Love interest. She doesn’t fit. Mike and Max are great characters as well. Come on Netflix I’ve been paying for you for years, and haven’t agreed on everything you’ve put on there for us. So do us this one favour pick up the following for at least one more season and if it’s not good, then create an ending, but if it’s good we’ll all watch it

  • Tammy

    I have been watching this since the beginning.i couldnt wait to go bed an have this show to watch.How does Netflix leave u hanging on season 3 what’s goin on.I have alwways been a fan of kevin Bacon.And Theo never knew mike Ealy was so talented.What a bummer bring it back.

  • Estelle K. George

    Very sad that this show ended. I just watched the three seasons and I couldn’t sit still because of all the action. The story line was intriguing and Kevin Bacon who played his part brilliantly. Joe of course was quite a character and played the sociopath so well. The other actors Max and Weston were so believable. I thought it got better and better each season.
    The only negative point is that I thought it was too bloody.
    Please pick it up Netflix.

  • Hello,
    My hours are long, so TV is not a priority in my life… And to actually dedicate myself to any series, has to really intrigue me. I watched all three seasons of “the following” and yes some parts i viewed in fast forward, and yes some parts were questionable in regards to protocols, procedures and internal affairs, and as one of the other people pointed out, rediculas decisions made by FBI agents…. It is a TV show, I can only hope that this is not reality, I enjoyed it based on the fact that it is a TV show….. Pitty that it is cancelled
    Regards Helzanna

  • Bianca

    I can’t believe this show was cancelled! This was a great series. I haven’t been addicted to a drama TV show in a long time, it was so gritty, a perfect thriller/drama, action packed, twists at every turn, just delicious. I hope FOX brings it back on. There are so many different story lines you could use with ‘Ryan Hardy’ and to now be underground, just brilliant, let the season begin ✏✏✏✏✏

  • Ron

    I think there is plenty of interest in the ending story line being continued and that it would open the door to new and even more interesting story lines. Netflix could score a winner if they embraced the opportunity. Get Kevin Bacon invested in it and that would guarantee it’s success!