Global ratings, slow DVD sales bring show to close

While Fox Television Studios’ decision to cancel TNT’s “Saving Grace” was unusual in that the drama was still faring well in the ratings, the move made sense financially.

Series will end its run after nine episodes scheduled for next summer.

“Saving Grace,” which stars Holly Hunter, wasn’t doing nearly as well outside the U.S., and DVD sales were weak. Plus, with season orders that were small, it seemed unlikely that enough episodes would be made to earn syndication dollars.

The skein, about an Oklahoma City detective who solves crimes while trying to keep her erratic personal life in order, was garnering 3.5 million viewers per episode.

A spokesman for Fox Television Studios, which produces the show, said: “In today’s rapidly changing television world, shows need to drive revenue off too many sources in order to be profitable for all the partners. Unfortunately, the economics of the series mandated stronger international and ancillary revenue than the show was able to generate. We thought an appropriate ending after three extremely successful seasons was the best outcome for all parties involved.”

The show faced rising production costs, as dramas in their later seasons typically face higher salaries for their primary performers. And “Saving Grace” had visual effects not typical of most procedurals.

Hunter is one of a growing number of film actresses who have made their way to cable. Kyra Sedgwick has starred in “The Closer” for five seasons, and Glenn Close won an Emmy last year for FX’s “Damages.” When the show aired earlier this spring, the ratings took a substantial hit against original broadcast fare. While fans of the show will be upset that “Saving Grace” is leaving the air, creator Nancy Miller will now have the time to give it a proper ending. Showrunners often fume at networks that cancel their shows without all the loose ends tied up.

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