Outsiders Is Canceled And WGN America Sounds Lost

Another WGN America original series bites the dust as the network charts a new path.

WGN America could be looking at a brand reset. The network announced the cancellation of Outsiders after two seasons to reallocate resources.

What exactly the network means by that is subject to your interpretation of the corporate-speak word vomit they issued to THR.

“After three years of investing in marquee, brand-defining dramas, WGN America has successfully expanded its audience, its reach and its presence in the minds of viewers. In our next phase, we intend to expand our original and unique content to continue growing our relevance and appeal to the widest possible audience. To achieve this, we will be reallocating our resources to a more diverse programming strategy and to new structures, enabling us to expand both the quantity and breadth of content aired by WGN America. This move is designed to deliver even more value to our advertising and distribution partners.” 

New structures are typically put in place because the old ones aren’t working. Outsiders wasn’t the critical darling Manhattan was, nor was it a fan-pleasing genre fantasy like the recently canceled Salem, but it was the network’s highest-rated show. For a network that only entered the original programming game three years ago, axing Outsiders after seeing ratings growth seems like an odd choice, but it’s clear WGN America isn’t getting the return on its investment that it hoped for, and thus structures will have to be torn down.

Outsiders was created by Peter Mattei and starred David Morse, Joe Anderson, Gillian Alexy, Kyle Gallner, Thomas M. Wright and Ryan Hurst. The series followed the Farrell clan, a family caught in a gritty territory battle deep in the heart of the Appalachian mountains.

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WGN America is left with another critically-acclaimed series in Underground, and little else is known to be in the production pipeline besides Scalped, a Vertigo Comics adaption.

Anyway, while WGN America sorts its future out and we decode its new mission statement, let’s all agree that Manhattan deserved more seasons and more love, and we’ll all go rewatch it on Hulu.