ABC Pulls ‘Wicked City’ Amid Low Ratings, Critical Scorching

Wicked City cancelled
Courtesy of ABC

ABC has yanked freshman drama “Wicked City” from its Tuesday 10 p.m. time slot, after just three airings. Beginning Nov. 17, repeats of “Shark Tank” will air instead of “Wicked City.”

The series starred Ed Westwick, Erika Christensen and Jeremy Sisto. Steven Baigelman is creator and exec producer of “Wicked City” with Amy B. Harris handling showrunner duties. Harris took to Twitter to thank the network, after news broke that the show was canceled.

Revolving around a serial killer in early-1980s Los Angeles, “Wicked City” sparked scathing reviews — both in regards to whether television really needed another serial killer drama and to its seemingly glamorization of sex and violence.

Despite this, there were grand plans for “Wicked City” as ABC hoped to capitalize on the gore-tinged anthology trend spearheaded by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s “American Horror Story” franchise on FX. (Both projects, coincidentally, have cast Taissa Farmiga).

“‘American Horror Story,’ I think, is a little bit more gory just because it’s ‘American Horror Story’ and that’s what you expect from it,” Taissa told Variety this summer at the Television Critics Assn. press tour before the ABC show premiered. “‘Wicked City’ is a bit more tension filled,” she said.

Also at the TCA press tour, Baigelman spoke of future plans for the series, during the show’s panel. “We will be doing one case per season…And some of our characters will find their stories ending in this season, and some of our characters will be moving on to another time and another place and another case.”

By swapping in “Shark Tank,” the network seemingly has no plans to immediately air episodes already in the can, but the eighth episode, which is currently shooting, will be completed before production on the show officially concludes, perhaps signaling the remaining five episodes could be released on some platform at some point.

The ABC Studios drama bowed Oct. 27 and declined precipitously by the time of its third original episode this week, when “Wicked City” fell to a 0.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.7 million viewers.

Whitney Friedlander and Elizabeth Wagmeister contributed to this report.

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  1. Sowas wie Einspruch scheint mir sinnvoller für eine produktive Diskussion.

  2. Jetzt endlich bieten die mobile-live-cams auch Handy Sex einer super scharfen Qualität.

  3. Joanna says:

    I realized after watching again – Betty was in the background of photo of Karen’s last interview.

  4. Joanna says:

    I am a fan – was really disappointed when cancelled…..just watched last episode and was a little disappointed. When Sisto was looking at the clue board and Betty’s pix next to Kent – how and when did they connect Betty to Kent – never established! The good thing is that the ending leaves it wide open for Wicked to return …… Hope it gets re-evaluated along with Blood and Oil – a fan of both. Please bring back – not enough good primetime tv – Maybe tweek the writing abit for Wicked – but story was great!

  5. Misty says:

    I loved this show. I looked forward to it. This sucks

  6. KSerra says:

    I thought this show was awesome. Figures. They should have let the show run the entire season and given “potential” fans a chance to really get involved and attached.

  7. Eula Ross says:

    loved this show was so upset to hear it was canceled could of finished the season not just stop airing it would love to see it come back on

  8. Kirkby says:

    It is getting ridiculous that so many shows are getting cancelled after they lure you in with 3 or 4 shows then boom they’re gone. Shame on the networks I for one will not watch any of the new shows because you never know how many episodes you will watch at least complete a season with an ending.

  9. Ashley Gillespie says:

    I loved wicked city!!!It was an amazing show and storyline!Every single time a good show airs on abc they pull the plug on it.People didn’t even have time to hear about it or watch it,because they pulled it off air before anyone could.I didn’t hear about it till after the 3rd episode aired and I had to go back and watch the first two episodes on demand.And I was hooked and I know so many people that were and It was the people’s couch TV show that them loving it and me seeing it is what made me get into it so much and watching it myself.I am so upset they got me into it and just at least won’t show the rest of the episodes they to show 3 and leave the viewers hanging!!!!!done with abc all together only show I feel worth watching on their channel in years.

  10. Bob Price says:

    The good guys were incredibly boring, and they tried to spice it up with conflict between the two cops. Very lame, done too many times, and hopeless. We want to identify someone in a show, and none deserved it. The good guys were so bland I was rooting for bad guys.

  11. TVHEAd says:

    Maybe another network will pick it up?

  12. Gina Cimino says:

    I am so disappointed – looked forward to Tuesday night for this show. I agree – a little more time should have been allotted – and I must say they did not promo the show like they do scandal and get away with murder – plus the debate was on one week – which attracted an audience. There are a lot of stupid sitcoms on not worth watching – just saying!!!!!

  13. Ann says:

    I’m upset they are canceling the series without wrapping up the story. It is VERY good & I hate they are cutting it short.

  14. Jacques Strappe says:

    “Gore tinged anthology” and “glamorization of sex and violence” reflect Ms Littleton’s very biased opinion of this series and her use of cliche phrases to articulate her disapproval. We are all supposed to rally around CBS cop procedural shows steeped in gore chasing twisted killers, like all the CSI iterations, Criminal Minds and it’s new spinoff, etc just because their perspective is that of law enforcement’s? .

  15. Lucy says:

    I think they should give it a little time and then “wicked city” can show them how awesome it is! I’m sad and angry.😔

  16. I am not surprised in one way (because i”d heard it wasn’t doing very well) but surprised in another way (because I love the show and thought that maybe everyone else was “pleasantly surprised” as well!). I never really understand what they bases these things one…I mean, why was it so weak in the ratings? It has everything….warped killers, sex, great 80s music, even a bit of kinky bondage games…what was really not to like? I don’t get it…what’s wrong with you folks?
    Maybe because it DID kind of push the envelope for network TV…we are still a bit too conservative a viewing audience in ways. I said to my wife the first episode I was surprised this was on ABC and not FX, Spike, or even AMC. Maybe folks weren’t happy that we were “seeing” enough of the good stuff?
    I was hoping that the rumors that it wasn’t doing well were inaccurate but I guess not.
    Too bad, I’d have at least liked to see it run one season….I hope they will at least air all the completed episodes.
    It’s a shame I am not running these things!

  17. Michele says:

    This show was by no means perfect but I did enjoy the music. The premise was a bit creepy but Ed Westwick and Erika Christensen were both interesting in their roles. The other characters were unoriginal which was a problem considering all the ‘good guys’ were boring. I was actually looking forward to seeing the evolution of the Betty character. Unfortunately we lose more drama programming on network tv for reality junk. Sad. BTW, the lead in show for Wicked City is really weak and was likely a huge issue when it came to the ratings. I’m hoping ABC will at least stream the un-aired episodes.

  18. Derpy Sisto says:

    Wow, good thing they douched their viewers with idiotic promos filled with BS hype for 3 months straight. Great marketing strategy ABC!

  19. Jacques Strappe says:

    I have to admit to a little disappointment in this cancellation but not the slightest bit surprised. I don’t even like procedurals but this story from the serial killer’s perspective was interesting. I didn’t think it was all that gruesome for network television at 10pm.. The 80’s music soundtrack was an added bonus. Better than CBS’ canceled Stalker and more interesting than AHS which only exists to try to out-shock its previous episode.

  20. Soooooo bummed! This show is fantastic!! Please change your mind ABC! A couple of episodes does not a statement make! Give it some time to catch on!

  21. Sarah Jackson says:

    ABC cancelled FOREVER & brought this dismal show to light, not to mention “Galavant”. What idiots…. look @ the multitude of FOREVER fans that are SCREAMING to have it back. But, do they listen? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Angela Love says:

    I loved Wicked City. Very disappointed the show didn’t get a fair chance.

  23. Canon says:

    When I saw all the commercials for Wicked City I already knew I’d never watch a single episode. Do we really need a show where two people have fun killing people just for the fun of it? Is that really something we want to put into the heads of anyone in this day and age? Isn’t the world screwed up enough already? Shame on them for even making such a show. I’m glad it only lasted 3 episodes.

  24. Ruth Deutsch says:

    FOREVER was such a great show in that time slot. ABC didn’t realize what a special show it was. It drew in heart-centered people looking for a humanistic story with intriguing twists and turns instead of gratuitous violence or blood-thirsty zombies. Everyone I know loved the show. We were and still are disappointed and missing it…

    • Sharon says:

      Get over it, Forever got cancelled and its not coming back. Move on with your life.

    • cadavra says:

      Indeed. Karma’s a bitch, ABC. Cancel a show “old people” like (hey there, “Harry’s Law”) and you’ll live to regret it.

      • Jacques Strappe says:

        LOL There’s still a group of viewers who rant about ABC cancelling their daytime soaps a few years ago. These old folks apparently have nothing to do but rant..

  25. James says:

    Just goes to show that People aren’t as stupid as we are led to believe. They had a great show in that time slot last season in Forever!

  26. Raynaj says:

    1st Blood & Oil now Wicked City? WTH?!?! Both shows have been decent enough to watch & why not give them a chance? I was totally into Wicked City. Hell if Scandel & HTGAWM wasn’t on ABC I’d totally not be watching anything on ABC!!!

  27. Trish says:

    Add some gays and lesbians and transgenders and it would stay on. Couldn’t kick it off. That’s ok ABC. I will rewatch on dvr these shows plus GOSSIP GIRL in order to see Ed Westwick. You are irrelevant to me.

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