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A Troubling Trend in the Latest Wave of Cancellations

The sudden cancellation of "NCIS: Hawai'i" continues a recent trend that is quite disturbing

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished about a month ago 4 min read

We have seen a lot of shows get the axe as of late, and we've believed that these cancellations are caused by the fallout from the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes. After all, these shows returned with condensed seasons, leaving not much room to improve or continue their already high momentum. Even the network bigwigs are loudly contributing the cancellations to the strikes.

Then I saw the common thread among the batch of cancelled shows. There's something rotten in Denmark.

One of the main shows that got the boot recently was NCIS: Hawai'i, to the shock of many fans. The series premiered in the fall of 2021 and served as the fourth series in the NCIS universe, with NCIS: Sydney becoming the fifth during this TV season. The series starred Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant, the leader of the NCIS crew in the country's 50th state. We've seen this installment crossover with the original series, and it was near the tail end of Season 2 that LL Cool J began his reprising his NCIS: LA role of Sam Hanna. So regarding the cancellation, why did this happen? Here's what CBS Entertainment president Amy Reisenbach had to say to Variety magazine:

“It is incumbent on us to always keep the schedule fresh, keep momentum going. We had to make some really tough choices this year. Everything came back [from the Hollywood strikes] really strong, but ultimately we have to look at the cohesiveness of the schedule flow. We have to evaluate the financials and the performance overall, and we make tough decisions."

Right, so the first NCIS show with a WOC lead and LGBT representation isn't "fresh." Got it.

My sarcasm aside, I know what's going on here, and it clicked in my mind when I learned that Hulu cancelled their series, The Other Black Girl. Look at a lot of the shows that have been cancelled since the strikes ended. The Wonder Years reboot, The Rookie: Feds, the Fantasy Island reboot, Grand Crew, The Game reboot, A Black Lady Sketch Show, All Rise, the Magnum P.I. reboot (again), the iCarly reboot, the Quantum Leap reboot, Not Dead Yet, and the two shows I just mentioned. Now what do all of these shows have in common? One word: representation.

Literally every show I mentioned has some form of representation. Most of them have Black leads; in the case of Rookie: Feds, that show had a Black LGBT lead. The Fantasy Island reboot had a Latinx lead in Roselyn Sanchez, and a Black co-lead in Kiara Barnes, whose version of Tattoo was LGBT. The Magnum P.I. reboot and Not Dead Yet also had Latinx leads, the iCarly reboot had LGBT representation, as did the Quantum Leap reboot, with Mason Alexander Park (they/them) stealing so many episodes with their amazing performance as Ian. The Quantum Leap reboot also had an Asian-American lead in the form of Raymond Lee as Ben Song. Yet that show was axed, along with those other good shows.

The strikes didn't cause these cancellations. We were told that; hell, we even believed it ourselves. This is a lie. This is a classic case of networks kissing up to the "old guard," which is a nice way of saying what they really are: old, conservative, White men. That's exactly what's happening. It almost happened with the S.W.A.T. reboot...twice! Shemar Moore basically had to raise awareness and pretty much make demands to avoid cancellation both times, and the show will get an official final year with a proper ending. Even so, those other shows aren't so lucky. NBC didn't even bother moving the Quantum Leap reboot to Peacock, yet Law and Order: Organized Crime got that lifeline quick.

What drives me up the wall is that even with all of this, RWNJs still have the actual gall to bitch and moan with this lie that Hollywood's gone "too woke" and that they're "cancelling" conservatives. If Hollywood's "too woke," then I'm Igor Shesterkin. If conservatives are being "cancelled" so much, then how come the Frasier reboot is still a thing? Can't answer that, can ya?

I'm going to be serious here, with the networks doing their version of ethnic cleansing, there are two shows I'm literally scared for: Velma and Chucky. Racist assholes have been bitching about Velma since the show premiered on Max (then known as HBO Max). It's an amazing show; Mindy Kaling has done so many wonders with that show and with her performance as Velma Dinkley, yet that hasn't stopped racist pricks from hating the show solely because of the immense representation. Hell, some idiots even accused the show of being "anti-White" due to how Fred's portrayed. You can't fix stupid, unfortunately. And those same morons are bashing Chucky for that show's LGBT representation, clearly forgetting the fact that Don Mancini, the iconic legend behind the Chucky franchise, is openly gay.

But remember, folks: I'm the "snowflake" here, and so is anyone else who is woke. Yeah, sure Jan...

The bottom line is this. It's not the strikes. I'm not buying that. I'm also not buying Ms. Reisenbach's excuse about "keeping the schedule fresh" and "keeping momentum going." You want to keep a schedule fresh? Move shows! It happens all the time! Shows always get moved to different time slots to test the waters. CBS didn't even try to do that with NCIS: Hawai'i. Now you can say, "Well, NCIS: Sydney has a WOC lead and that's still on." That's true, but here's the thing: remember the Highlander rule? There can only be one. That's why Hawai'i got axed, because having two NCIS franchise shows with WOC leads would be seen as "giving in to the woke mob." CBS just had to resort to trying to make the "good ol' boys" happy, and the same goes for the other networks who cancelled those other shows. It's a shame. It's an absolute damn shame.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

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Comments (3)

  • Philip Gipsonabout a month ago

    I've got two words for these networks choosing to cancel these shows: sheer idiocy. The corporate world will always be arrogant, just as they've been in the past. They care nothing for their customers or their employees.

  • Glen Miley Collierabout a month ago

    I see that you paid close attention to our chat earlier. Good because this trend is disturbing. When it comes to a show or movie, I just care about a good story. Variety is the key to keeping and maintaining interest. If what is happening continues, it will have a devastating effect and cheat us out of alot of good programming. I guess it is saf to say that, in a sense, we are now in a Civil War 2.

  • G. A. Boteroabout a month ago

    This is a really interesting piece and one the reflects the continued whitening of the media landscape. Actors of color portraying strong character leads is unacceptable to many in charge. John Leguizamo talked about the industry a bit when he was on the Late Show ~min 5. Thanks for writing about this.

Clyde E. DawkinsWritten by Clyde E. Dawkins

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