Reaper was officially canceled yesterday, but there was nothing about it on your site. Why not!? Do you think it was because of Tyler Labine?
First, while we love Nick C, we’re not necessarily spiritually aligned with him on everything. Nick is a friend to the creative side of the business, and often a friend to the fans of lowly-rated shows even after they have been canceled. And if it was a show he liked that was spurned by the CW, perhaps especially so. It’s part of Nick’s charm!
But from our perspective (at least mine, Bill might not share the opinion though I’d be a little surprised if he didn’t), once the networks announced the show pickups, if your show wasn’t mentioned, particularly if it’s a one hour drama, it’s dead**. While I have seen some 30 minute sitcoms resurrected from the dead pool after the schedules are announced, I’ve never seen a case where a one hour drama was resurrected after all the networks had announced their schedules. At least not in the going on two years we’ve been doing this blog.
That doesn’t mean that it can never happen, but since it never seems to, for me, it means it’s probably not going to happen.
So, from my perspective, the moment that the CW didn’t pick up Reaper, it was canceled. While there was talk about other networks picking it up and particularly the prospect that the show could be resurrected via a syndication arrangement (new episodes a la Legend of the Seeker style distribution rather than syndicated reruns) – and Bill did do a post about syndication being possible, for me, it was dead unless and until there was an announcement that it had been resurrected.
Now, apparently all hope is gone (see the comments) and the cast and crew of Reaper have been notified it’s finished, but nobody is going to issue a “Reaper Canceled” press release about it, we have no inside information and there have not been any stories in the trades about that. So, for all those reasons, we didn’t write about it!
As for Tyler Labine’s role, I have no idea really. I’d bet money that he didn’t have anything to do with The CW not renewing the show. I don’t know if he became problematic after The CW didn’t pick it up, but once The CW didn’t pick Reaper up and FOX had picked up Sons of Tucson, I could hardly fault Mr. Labine if he took a “bird in the hand” stance.
**there are some exceptions where shows don’t show up on the schedules where networks still go out of their way to say the show’s haven’t been canceled even though they aren’t yet anywhere on the schedule. Unfortunately for Reaper fans, that was not the case for Reaper. One example of this is with CBS and Flashpoint. And that’s a rare situation that was caused by NBC not picking up Medium and CBS being in the position where if NBC didn’t pick it up, they pretty much had to pick it up at the last minute.