David E. Kelley’s ‘Big Sky’ Canceled by ABC After 3 Seasons

“Big Sky” is officially going to the big network in the sky. ABC will not be moving forward with the David E. Kelley crime drama. The network also revealed on Friday that it was axing “Alaska Daily” and “The Company You Keep.”

Despite its initial popularity, it’s not all that surprising that “Big Sky” would be on the chopping block. The series’ premiere episode reached 14.7 million total viewers over a 35 day period, making it ABC’s most-watched debut since “The Good Doctor” in 2017. It was also ABC’s highest-rated series debut in the coveted 18-49 demo since the premiere of “A Million Little Things” in 2018.

But as the series has gone on, its ratings have fallen. A show that routinely drew 3.5 million to 4 million live viewers per episode started to see more and more episodes in the 2.2 million range. This decline likely had to do with “Big Sky’s” story arc. Whereas Seasons 1 and 2 essentially followed the same criminal bust spearheaded by Jenny (Katheryn Winnick) and Cassie (Kylie Bunbury), Season 3 centered around a completely new crime saga that starred Reba McEntire.

Based on “The Highway” series of books by C. J. Box, each season followed a different wild tale of organized wrongdoing in the state of Montana. Brian Geraghty and John Carroll Lynch played the main villains in the show’s first two seasons.

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Whereas “Big Sky” at least had a season where it connected with viewers, the same can’t be said about “Alaska Daily” and “The Company You Keep.” Starring Hilary Swank, “Alaska Daily” followed a former high-profile investigative reporter from New York who comes to Alaska after burning all the bridges from her previous job. The series came from Tom McCarthy, best known for directing the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight.” Though the drama achieved solid ratings in its first week, those numbers dropped off as it continued.

“The Company You Keep,” ABC’s spy thriller from Julia Cohen, didn’t even have a strong first week. Starring Milo Ventimiglia and Catherine Haena Kim, the series revolved around an in-debt con man who finds himself in a complicated romantic relationship with an undercover CIA officer. The drama averaged around 2 million live viewers per episode throughout its entire first season.

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