‘Outsiders’ Canceled After Two Seasons on WGN America

outsiders ryan hurst thomas m wright
WGN America

“Outsiders” has been canceled after two seasons at WGN AmericaVariety has learned.

The drama series follows the exploits of the Farrell clan, a Kentucky family that has lived atop Shay Mountain for over 200 years. But their off-the-grid way of life is threatened when a coal company decides to strip mine the mountain, leading to serious confrontations between the Farrells and the world below.

Peter Kern, interim president and CEO of Tribune Media issued the following statement on the series:

“After three years of investing in marquee, brand-defining dramas, WGN America has successfully expanded its audience, its reach, and its presence in the minds of viewers. In our next phase, we intend to expand our original and unique content to continue growing our relevance and appeal to the widest possible audience. To achieve this, we will be reallocating our resources to a more diverse programming strategy and to new structures, enabling us to expand both the quantity and breadth of content aired by WGN America. This move is designed to deliver even more value to our advertising and distribution partners. To free up the resources to reach this goal, we will unfortunately not be renewing ‘Outsiders.’ We are grateful to our production partners at Sony Pictures Television and the terrifically talented people who made the show possible.”

The series stars David Morse, Ryan Hurst, Gillian Alexy, Kyle Gallner, Christina Jackson, and Thomas M. Wright. Peter Mattei created the series and executive produces along with Peter Tolan, Paul Giamatti, Dan Carey and Michael Wimer. Sony Pictures Television, Tribune Studios, Fedora Entertainment, and Touchy Feely Films produce. The Season 2 finale will air on April 25.

The show was WGN America’s third original series after “Salem” and “Manhattan,” which both ended after their third and second seasons respectively. It is currently WGN’s top-rated original, averaging 2 million viewers across four airings on Tuesday night. The Underground Railroad drama “Underground,” also currently in its second season, is now the sole original series on the network. However, the network is currently in production on a pilot for “Scalped,” a drama set on a Native American reservation based on the DC graphic novel series of the same name.

The cancellation comes a month after Kern took over Tribune Media following the exit of CEO Peter Liguori, who announced his resignation in January. Ligouri came onboard in 2013 and invested heavily in developing original programming for the network, though the shows developed under his tenure have failed to achieve ratings on par with their cost.

Earlier this week, Tribune Media also abruptly shut down a national digital news service — which would have included content aggregated from its 42 local TV stations — less than two weeks before it was slated to launch as part of a broad restructuring of its digital operations.

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  1. Joa says:

    Why do you always cancel the good shows? Outsiders is/was a great show. It showed how the “little” people (Farrell’s) stood up to corporate america and fought for what is theirs and that they would not be bought. At least have another episode to end the story and not leave all the faithful fans hanging!!!!!

  2. K. Scott says:

    Why??? Why??? Why??? Justify this please. Also, if you are not going to reconsider this, at least end the show with a proper ending instead of the way you did. At least explain some of the mysteries.

  3. C. Bailey says:

    Drop OUTSIDERS and I drop WGNA!!!

  4. Chris says:

    What? A great TV show. I hope they reevaluate their decision or maybe another station could pick up. Like Netflix did Longmire.

  5. Eileen says:

    Looks like it is time to start a write-in campaign.

  6. I would love for this show to be picked up by another network yes……..but you are gonna have to replace a writer or 2. It was so good the first year…….and you killed off Asa…. then it got really good and the last few have just…….went dull. I am sure that is why the ratings were off. Yall should have killed off Big Foster if you wanted someone to die………and someone had better tell us what the 3 wolfs mean already.

  7. In other words…

    “After expanding our audience with intelligent, thought-provoking drama, we are going to go to a programming strategy that throws crap up on the screen and hope that it sticks long enough to retain our previous audience while attracting new viewers.”

    Cutting Manhatten – STRIKE ONE!
    Cutting Salem – STRIKE TWO!
    Cutting Outsiders – STRIKE THREE!


  8. Crystal M Dye says:

    I think it’s terrible they are canceling a wonderful show that a lot of people love to watch including myself. The Outsiders was one of my favorites. Why don’t they let the viewers have a say it what shows should be cut? Ratings and what we like should matter most. And that show had a lot of fans.

  9. Sharon Gardner says:

    Yall sso terrible you look at a show then canc÷l 2 years

    • carolyn martinetti says:

      The ONLY good show on wgn is the Outsiders! Love it,watch every week and look forward to the next one! Wgn does suck! I hope a decent network picks up this awesome show.

  10. Mike Gasper sr. says:

    Are you kidding me ?? Everyone I know loves outsiders show and canceled ?? WTF !! At least finish the dam series !! Come on !!

  11. Kevin says:

    Read what Kern said carefully. This is PC speak for “the show was too white”.

  12. Jack says:

    Outsiders was a good show, garentee it would have done way better on fx or amc.. u know why it failed on wgn? Bc wgn sucks…nobody watches that Channel.. especially now since u cancelled outsiders u lames..

    • Crystal M Dye says:

      I completely agree. It would have done better on FX or AMC. Hopefully one of them pick it up. That would be awesome!

  13. Kim Wedemeier says:

    Total BS. I can’t believe you left us hanging. Cancelling a great show WGN- You Suck!

  14. Melanee Reimers says:

    What a Shame!!! The Best show I’ve seen in years. My husband and I, plan out nights around this show. How can you possibly get accurate ratings, when so many DVR shows these days, to watch later with no commercials. So you left us hanging on the season finale and then say you are cancelling the show. Really, then why didn’t you just do a final ending show to it and then be done. I am so sick of great shows being cancelled. NOT HAPPY!!!!

  15. Jeff says:

    Really bad decision. I’m not going to bother to invest in any more shows, you Iinvest time on good programs to have them pulled, why bother!

  16. Ryan says:

    Really poor decision to cancel this series. Was the best series I have watched in quite sometime. Looked forward to watching these on Tuesday nights.

  17. judy cooke says:

    Went to look when Season 3 would begin after watching the finale instead I see cancelled!! Hope another station picks it up or those involved figure out their issues in some way other than cancelling. Outsiders is a Great show, story, with amazing characters. Not that Wgn, producers, ceo’s etc care about their viewers obviously but this is So Disappointing!!
    I’m with the one guy that commented “ban WGN”

  18. Thomas Fulton says:

    This sucks,. I hope someone picks it up. To me this makes no sense.

  19. Sherry says:

    OMG. I just heard. Who’s the idiot who is canceling this show? This is a great show with some great actors very disappointed

  20. Markus Cole says:

    Losing ALOT of viewers over a horrible decision to cancel a great show. Could have at least wrapped up the series somehow.

  21. Jan Carpinder says:

    What a disappointment that Outsiders is cancelled. And they didn’t respect the fans enough to even wrap up the story! Poor form WGN!

  22. Sue says:

    Before watching Outsiders I have NEVER ever watched any show without multi tasking(PLAYING ON IPAD OR READING) I never even got into any other series. With the Outsiders I actually watched it without any distractions. As far as I am concerned WGN should be called ONE PLANET only looking out for total profit and not giving the series at least the chance of another year. I thought I’did found a new station to watch. Guess I was wrong!!!! GID GID YAH!!!!

  23. Joyce says:

    I’m very sad to hear the show has been cancelled really enjoy the show think you should keep it on TV I see alot of other people feel the same I think CEO should really rethink this

  24. Tony Stine says:

    Poor decision to cancel “Outsiders” !!! Great show that my wife and I both would sit and watch. Bring it back. Cut some other show. Thanks for nothing WGN CEO. Bad Move..

  25. Kenny penland says:

    If outsiders is cancelled ill never ever watch anything on this channel. Dont care how good any show may b!!!! I will also make a sight to help voice a boycott of the wgn station. The cancelation of this show shows that the network is not in touch with its viewers n doesnt deserve out support!!!!! BOYCOTT THE WGN NETWORK!!!!!!

  26. Ladena K Bough says:

    You will definitely lose me as a viewer! Outsiders was/is the best series on TV as far as we are concerned.

  27. Soupy says:

    Can’t believe Outsiders is cancelled! A really interesting–at times riveting!–show.
    Must have a lot of empty minds in decision making roles.

  28. Marian F Heimbouch says:

    Since you’re going to cancel Outsiders this will be the last time I will watch WGN . You can start all the series that you want to since you’re only strong enough to think that they will last for two seasons I no longer am invested in WGN April 25th 2017 is the last time I’m watch your Channel

  29. Julee Cormier says:

    Please don’t cancel this series!!! One of the best in a very long time! As much as I hate David Morse’s character I love his acting. Both my husband and I hope there’s another way to keep this show on the air!!

  30. Lena says:

    I don’t foresee myself trusting WGN with my viewership ever again. First Salem now Outsiders; they keep getting rid of unique shows with great talent behind them. My only reason for sticking with WGN after Salem’s cancellation and lackluster finale was Outsiders. WGN, you don’t inspire trust so you don’t deserve loyal viewers.

  31. Monica Killingsworth says:

    Why is that when a really great series gets going. The powers that be decide to cancel.

  32. Denise Watford says:

    I am shocked and very disappointed in cancellation of Outsiders!!!!! One of the best shows on TV. I will not watch WGN in the future. Big mistake cancelling the show!!!

  33. silvia says:

    I’m done with WGN, the only series I watched on there was “The Outsiders”.

  34. Lisa says:

    I really disappointed in the decision to cancel The Outsiders. It was the only reason I watched WGN. Don’t care to invest my time to get to know the characters and then have the show cancelled.

  35. Shane says:

    Well you cancelled the best show you had by that you have lost my patronage I will not be watching anymore of your originals so that you can’t cancel anymore of my programs guess your viewer’s are not important to you or your ratings good-bye WGN

  36. Sue says:

    I think the people that run the network should be cancelled.

  37. Gwen Wendell says:

    The Outsiders was fresh and entertaining.The stars are to be commended on their acting and the story line made you come back week after week anticipating what will happen.. Well after tonight no more WGN for me….Bad decision. P.S. I loved the theme song…I will miss the show very much and it’s BYE…BYE WGN….bad marketing Mr. CEO:-<

  38. Ronda says:

    Cancel the highest rated show.. You must be a special kind of stupid. Hopefully another network will pick it up. #shaymuststay

  39. teri henson says:

    I have NEVER watched WGN before. Didn’t even know it existed. Then came Outsiders and word that Ryan Hurst would be part of it. I was in. Watched it and it really took off this season. Very entertaining with rich performances from the cast. Now, just as the series really takes hold, the newby Brass cancels it. Unbelievable!

    Well, WGN, You are once again non-existent to me.


  40. Debbie James says:

    PLEASE, change your mind on cancelling Outsiders! It’s a fantastic show. So sad it’s being cancelled.

  41. An absurd move on WGN America and Tribune to cancel their highest rated tv show for no reason except that they grew and expanded their audience because of “Outsiders” success and “Salem”, which was cancelled last year. Who do they think is going to continue to watch WGN America after “Outsiders” is no longer on the schedule. I think they just made the wrong move.

    • Ed and Mari H says:

      My husband and I enjoyed OUTSIDERS very much! It’s a shame you cancelled the show! We are not alone with this opinion, we’re sure!!

      M and E

  42. Dana Chavez says:

    This is why I want to drop TV all together you find something that is entertaining and possible in a TV series and then it’s gone but crap TV suck as Kardashians ect is still on

  43. Sydney Evans says:

    Will someone please define “Diverse programming” and “Widest possible audience” Not sure that this Outsiders fan understands

    • SomeoneWithBrains says:

      It means that it was too white. It’s 2017, so they want to pander to everything non-white because all the millennials think white = racist.

  44. The Bonz says:

    WGN, See ya!

  45. Shelly says:

    It’s too bad this show is being cancelled, but I am not surprised. First off, it is educating folks about the hazards that coal mining brings to people and their living environment. The 2nd thing that I see is that someone is offended by the concept that the mountain clan lives according to ‘Elder Faith’ beliefs and ethics.That has to have main stream religious people crazed. Think about it.

  46. Steven says:

    WGN sucks! Whoever cancelled Outsiders is a total moron. I hope their network goes bankrupt. Outsiders needs to be picked up by a new network that appreciates the show.

  47. Ruthie Jackson says:

    Aww man! What!!..doesn’t even makes sense ..trying to bring more value to your business partners, so to free up the resources to do that, you cancel your most watched series?? I am highly dissapointed in this decision. I am a little late to the show, but i binged on Season 1 last week, and got kind of hooked on it. Now I see in the article that this is WGN norm: Debut shows and then cancel them after a couple seasons. I agree that this one of my favorites since Sons of Anarchy (even though it took me 2 episodes to realize Foster VIII is the same actor as Opie from Sons). Bad move WGN. Bad move.

  48. Anika says:

    How in the hell are they going to cancel Outsiders. REALLY? We love that show. Its the best thing since SON’s OF ANARCHY>…

  49. patrick gano says:

    what the hell are you thinking W.G.N. ?outsiders is one of the best shows on T.V. right now why in god’s name would you cancel it?please reconsider this decision or at least let another network pick it up. my girlfriend and i look forward to Tuesday nights every week to watch Outsiders, we were big fans of Salem too but it did run its course but not Outsiders it could go on foe years yet. please please don’t cancel it.

  50. GrammieD says:

    WOW!!!! No more Outsiders?!?! Are you crazy? This is one of the best shows on TV. Never watched WGN until this show came on and will never watch WGN again! Hopefully, another station will pick it up. Finale’ can’t possibly cover all that is going on. Please reconsider, AMC pick this up and along with the Walking Dead. Two huge hits!!!!

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