"Queen of Country Music" Dottie Roman is being forced to retire. The Susan Sarandon and Trace Adkins-starring country drama Monarch has been canceled by Fox after just a single season, the network confirming in a statement, per The Wrap, "We gratefully thank and appreciate the entire cast and crew for their dedication to Monarch." The news broke Wednesday, just a day after Monarch aired its Season 1 finale, which now serves as the series finale.
Ordered in May 2021 as the first live-action scripted series fully owned by Fox, Monarch was created by Melissa London Hilfers as a musical drama about a country music family. The series stars Sarandon as Dottie Roman, a legendary country music matriarch who heads country music's first family. It also starred Adkins as Albie Roman, Dottie's husband, alongside Anna Friel, Beth Ditto, Martha Higareda, Iñigo Pascual, and Joshua Sasse. Throughout the 11-episode debut season, Monarch featured musical guest appearances from Joshua Sasse, Anna Friel, Beth Ditto and Meagan Holder costarred and real country music stars, including Martina McBride, Little Big Town, Caitlyn Smith, and Tanya Tucker.
Monarch faced an uphill battle to get to its premiere. The series was ordered and filmed during the COVID pandemic. Due to the pandemic, its initial January 2022 premiere date was postponed and instead pushed to the fall. Debuting on Sunday, Sept. 11, Monarch initially seemed to begin with a strong start. The show's premiere episode, "Stop at Nothing," which aired following an NFL telecast, drew in more than 10 million viewers across four linear telecasts and digital platforms with a total view time surpassing 500 million minutes. Those numbers made it 2022's No. 1 scripted debut and also the network's most-watched Fall scripted debut in three years, even outperforming HBO's record-baking new series House of the Dragon, the network reported. However, Monarch's success faltered as the season carried on. According to Deadline, the show averaged just a 0.3 rating in the key 18-49 demographic and 4.1 million viewers across all platforms, meaning it ultimately underperformed.
Monarch was executive produced by Hilfers with showrunner Jon Harmon Feldman, Gail Berman and Hend Baghdady of The Jackal Group, Michael Rauch and Jason Owen. The series is just the latest to receive the dreaded cancellation news, with Monarch also becoming the second first-year network show of the fall to be axed after CBS opted not to move forward with a second season of The Real Love Boat, its Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell-hosted dating show.