Sitcom writer Ken Levine has blasted CBS’s decision to cancel Mike & Molly after six seasons.
Taking to his blog, Levine suggests Mike & Molly was given the “ugly stepchild” treatment, and agrees with the notion that expensive license fees were a major factor in the network’s decision to swing the axe:
Fans of MIKE & MOLLY are understandably upset. Apparently CBS has cancelled the show and reduced the number of episodes ordered for its final season. Both are curious moves considering the show is not even on the air at the moment. It’s not like the ratings are abysmal.
But this is not an uncommon practice. There are some shows that networks just don’t believe in, just don’t love. And they are forever treated like the ugly stepchild. The only reason they last as long as they do is because, despite the networks’ lack of support, they DO get decent ratings. Damn them for making things confusing!
MIKE & MOLLY has performed reasonably well wherever CBS has put it. And its star, Melissa McCarthy has become a legitimate movie star. You would think for that reason alone CBS would be thrilled. They’ve captured lightening in a bottle. And yet, in fairness, it’s not like McCarthy’s rise to stardom has kicked MIKE & MOLLY to a new level of popularity. It hasn’t. Neither did THE OFFICE’S ratings suddenly skyrocket when Steve Carell got hot in films.
A big consideration is economics, especially in MIKE & MOLLY’S case. Everyone initially signs a six-year deal. The six years will be up this season. This is when having a movie star as your lead becomes not such a good thing. License fees (how much the network will pay for each episode) are usually determined in advance and then putting together your cast and production crew is like an NBA franchise building a team under the salary cap. Sometimes the costs are just too prohibitive.
And still another factor – MIKE & MOLLY is not owned by CBS. It’s a Warner Brothers show. CBS has nothing to gain longterm by MIKE & MOLLY’S success. So it’s now the ugly stepchild with a foot missing.
You can read the full piece here.