Katey Sagal's Rebel has been canceled at ABC after only one season. The series, inspired by activist Erin Brockovich, was led by Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 showrunner Krista Vernoff. While those two series gained renewals, Rebel underperformed ratings-wise despite having Grey's as a lead.
Rebel followed Annie "Rebel" Bello, played by Sagal, taking on the qualities Julia Roberts also channeled in the film Erin Brockovich. While she doesn't have a law degree, she's got the spirit to keep going and focusing on the fight that sides with her beliefs.
The news joins other surprising cancellations at ABC, including American Housewife, Mixed-ish, Call Your Mother and For Life. While this is disappointing for fans of Sagal, her time on the show did raise questions about her continued presence on The Conners.
Sagal plays Louise, the girlfriend of Dan Conner on the series, and she was actually adamant she remained in the role despite Rebel's premiere. Showrunner Bruce Helford shared the tale behind Sagal's demand to remain on The Conners as the girlfriend. "The first thing that Katey did [after Rebel was picked up] was send us an email saying, 'Do not hire a new girlfriend for Dan — I am not abdicating my role,'" Helford shared. "Rebel starts production in early November [so] it's going to be tough for her because she's going to be doing double production. So there will be some conflict. But we'll work on Saturdays [if we need to]. We intend for Louise to be around all season."
Sagal expanded on the situation in a chat with AP Entertainment. She also revealed that she had The Conners role written into her contract for Rebel, just to ensure the window remained open.
"I've actually been doing The Conners while I've been doing Rebel and it's in my contract because I'm hoping to continue doing The Conners. I love that over there. You know, I can't do the whole season, but I can do what I did last season, which was I think 10 episodes," Sagal told the Associated Press. "Yes, that's in my contract that I can stay there, if they want me. Actually, the last episode I did, kind of extends my stay. So, I'm hoping that I get to stay. In a perfect world, both shows continue and I'm super, super busy"
With The Conners renewal, it would seem that Sagal could return to take a larger part in the upcoming season.