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

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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