Why Lea Michele's 'The Mayor' Was Canceled at ABC


ABC president Channing Dungey explains why the network parted ways with the once-promising rookie comedy.

ABC’s once-promising freshman comedy, The Mayor, was taken off the schedule last week -- and now, we have a better idea as to why.

The half-hour comedy followed an aspiring rapper-turned-mayor of his hometown after running for office in order to gain publicity for his music. Led by Brandon Micheal Hall, the series also starred Lea Michele, Bernard David Jones, Marcel Spears and Yvette Nicole Brown.

The Mayor was a little bit of a heartbreak for all of us,” ABC President Channing Dungey told reporters at ABC’s Television Critics Association press tour on Monday. “We really went for it full blazes with marketing. It was a top priority for us in terms of the campaign and for whatever reason, it did not connect with the audience in the way we were hoping it would.”

“I still stand by the creative. I think that we have an incredible cast. I love what [creator] Jeremy [Bronson] and [executive producer] Jamie [Tarses] brought to the table,” she continued. “The issue did not seem to be one of that the audience did not know that the show was there, which is sometimes the case. People knew and they just didn’t come. What was more disappointing for me, personally, was it wasn’t just a question of live-same day going down week after week, the delayed viewing numbers also continued the drop. That’s the biggest signal that, for whatever reason, it’s not a show that’s connecting.”

Dungey offered her own theory on why the comedy didn’t strike a chord with viewers.

“I do feel like the show arrived on the scene at a time when people were feeling a little bit fatigued about anything having to do with politics,” she said. “Even our title, The Mayor, maybe didn’t help us because when you watch the show, it was so much about that workplace family, as well as his relationship with his mom, it wasn’t so much about politics. But I do think that that was one of the takeaways for the audience in general, which may have helped it not give it the start that we want.”

It is unclear if the remaining four episodes of The Mayor will air on ABC.