Season 4 of the American thriller drama TV series The Following starring Kevin Bacon was canceled 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 begins 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 the 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 canceled, both Fox and Netflix are no longer obliged to do the same.
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.
Created by Kevin Williamson, “The Following” was a breakout hit when it premiered its Season 1 early in 2013. In fact, the show finished the 2012-13 TV season as the highest rated new broadcast series among adults.
However, after a strong Season 1, the violent serialized thriller, which only produced limited episodes as per Kevin Bacon’s contract, “The Following” could not keep its momentum going in the ratings department. Its ratings started slipping in Season 2 and then again in Season 3, the ultimately proved to be its death warrant.
While it did post a strong DVR/on-demand appeal, it was not enough to make up for its low on-air ratings.
Immediately after the show was canceled, a petition was initiated in an attempt to rescue the show from cancellation.
The petition was created to show Netflix, Hulu, and other networks that despite the low ratings of “The Following,” there is a passionate audience for the show and its characters, details Yibada.
The petitioners also want to see how the stories unfold, obviously dismayed with Fox for its decision to cancel the show when it left huge cliffhanger during the Season 3 finale.
The petitioners, who call themselves as the ‘Followers,’ wanted to convince producers that they should provide them with a final season for “The Following” to be able to tie every loose end and give the show a fitting end.