Lights Out has been canceled by the FX Network after only its first season. John Landgraf (President of FX)’s announcement about the cable TV show hit me out of left field. I hadn’t been paying attention to Lights Out‘ ratings (whose trailer we posted here: Lights Out (2011) TV Show Trailer) but I had been watching the show every Tuesday night at 10 pm. Who knew a show about boxing could be that engrossing? Lights Out’s plot centered around “as an aging former heavyweight boxing champion [Holt McCallany] who struggles to find his identity and support his wife and three daughters [played by Meredith Hagner, Ryann Shane, and Lily Pilblad] after retiring from the ring. Financial problems leave him at a perilous crossroads – battling the urge to return to boxing or reluctantly accepting a job as a brutal and intimidating debt collector. Catherine McCormack (Braveheart) co-stars as “Theresa Leary,” Lights’ wife who is finishing her medical residency; Pablo Schreiber (Law & Order) as “Johnny Leary,” Lights’ brother and business manager whom Lights put through college; and Stacy Keach (Fat City) as “Pops,” Lights’ father and former trainer who runs the boxing gym owned by Lights.” Apparently the TV drama that revolved around boxing was not engrossing to others.
Lights Out never found traction in the ratings, leading to FX’s decision to cancel it after one season. It premiered in January with 1.5 million viewers and slipped further throughout its run, averaging 863,000 viewers per first-run episode vs. 2.7 million for Justified.
FX president John Landgraf praised the quality of the show and McCallany’s performance and said that in the end, it all came down to Lights Out’s subject matter “The audience didn’t want to watch a show about boxing,” he said. “We never got any traction” during the pre- and post-launch marketing and publicity campaign. Landgraf said that he is not concerned by having two new series in row, Terriers and Lights Out strike out. “That’s baseball,” he said. “If you put on 4 shows, two of them work, Sons of Anarchy and Justified, and the other two are Terriers and Lights Out, that’s pretty good.”
This is sad news. I was looking forward to seeing what happened with Light’s brain damage during Season Two, especially after fighting Death Row Reynolds (Billy Brown) again. Now the title bout at the end of this season is going to be the series’ Swan song. What do you think about Lights Out being canceled?