Created by Susanna Fogel and Joni Lefkowitz, the cancer-themed coming-of-age drama that debuted in June 2014 starred Italia Ricci, who tweeted confirmation of the show’s cancellation on Friday.
This week, showrunner and exec producer Patrick Sean Smith, who also created “Greek” for the cabler years back, had been tweeting with the hashtag “RenewChasingLife, urging fans to bring social media attention to the show, in hopes of a third season. He had also been retweeting fan sites that were petitioning to renew the show.
— PATRICK SEAN SMITH (@SEANSMITH74) September 29, 2015
After doing pretty well in its first season on Tuesdays behind “Pretty Little Liars,” “Chasing Life” saw big declines in season two. On Mondays this summer, it averaged about 1.2 million total viewers in Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates.
Despite no stellar ratings, the show did see a big surge in the social stratosphere this summer, becoming a social media trending topic, after a fan-favorite character Leo (played by Scott Michael Foster) was abruptly killed off.
“In this day and age, to have an audience react so strongly and loudly about anything is a good thing,” Smith told Variety, after “Chasing Life” was a top trend on Facebook for over two days.
At the time, he was looking forward to continuing the story, adding, “I think we are ending the second season with a very big season ender cliffhanger that can really push April in a whole new direction, which is exciting, and really kind of influence a lot of where April can go. We got to shoot in Italy, we spent two days in Rome. In the third season, I think with where we leave her, there are a lot of different directions she can go.”
Ricci also had future hopes for her character, April Carver, telling Variety in an interview this summer, “I hope she writes her book, I hope she gets to travel and I hope she just finds peace in her decisions.”
Recently, the young-skewing cabler is focusing on targeting older millennials, which have been deemed “becomers” by the net. Though “Chasing Life” revolved around 20-something characters and packed mature storylines, ABC Family has a slew of new shows in development including “Guilt,” a new spin on an Amanda Knox-type murder mystery; “Stay,” a thriller about a recently widowed police detective and his two daughters who are stranded at a foreboding hotel; supernatural pilot “Beyond” from “Heroes” creator Tim Kring; and romantic comedy “Gorgeous Morons” from the team behind “The Office.”
ABC Family has also given a series commitment to a Nicki Minaj-inspired comedy about the singer’s young life, and the hotly anticipated “Mortal Instruments” series “Shadowhunters,” based on Cassandra Clare’s best-selling novels, is currently in production and set to premiere next year.
This year, comedies “Baby Daddy” and “Young & Hungry” were renewed, plus “Pretty Little Liars,” which hit a ratings high this summer, has another season to come, as part of its previous double renewal for seasons six and seven.