Canceled ABC Show Could Be Revived Elsewhere

ABC has canceled its legal drama For Life, but the show may not be finished just yet. According to a report by Deadline, Sony Pictures TV intends to shop the series around for a renewal elsewhere. A cable channel, streaming service or even another network might still save the show from cancellation.

ABC announced on Friday that For Life was canceled after two seasons on the air. The show explores racism within the American legal system from various angles, and it was one of ABC's last renewals of the season in June of 2020 at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests following George Floyd's murder. Considering its timely subject matter, the show was rushed into production and Season 2 premiered in November, instead of its previously planned midseason date. The show has done well on streaming services after it airs, but its ratings on conventional TV broadcasts have not been as good.

For Life was reportedly ABC's lowest-rated scripted series in Live+Same Day ratings this season. However, it did better with delayed viewings, especially accounting for streaming services. It performed especially well on Hulu, and producers reportedly hope that it will end up there as a new Hulu original series going forward.

The show has actively helped Hulu draw Black subscribers in — something that is reportedly important to the company under Disney's leadership. It was ABC's top drama among Black viewers as well.

For Life was created by showrunner Hank Steinberg, and executive produced by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. It is inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr., who was falsely convicted of being a drug kingpin and eventually got his conviction overturned while in prison. He then became a licensed attorney and worked to change the system from within. The show stars Nicholas Pinnock as Aaron Wallace, a man in a similar circumstance fighting to overturn his own life sentence and the sentences of others in similar situations.

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Jackson at least seemed confident that For Life would get a renewal elsewhere. On Friday night, he tweeted: "I'll tell you where you can tune in to see FOR LIFE shortly." He also indicated that there was no bad blood between him and ABC by adding: "Check out my new show (Family Affair) on ABC coming soon!"

ABC canceled four other shows on Friday as well — American Housewife, Mixed-ish, Rebel and Call Your Mother. So far, there is no word on any of them being revived elsewhere. You can watch For Life now on Hulu, with a free trial available here.

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