'Leverage' Canceled by TNT After 5th Season

Categories: 1-Featured,Cable TV

Written By

December 21st, 2012

A sad lump of coal in the stockings of Leverage fans, TNT has cancelled the series after five seasons. But there will be one final present under the tree in the form of one more new episode of Leverage on Christmas (Tuesday) night at 9pm.  Previously series creator and executive producer Dean Devlin had written that they'd prepared the fifth season finale as a series finale just in case in case it wasn't renewed. So it sounds like fans will at least get the closure they want.

TNT’s Leverage has thrilled audiences with its delightfully intricate plots, its “stand up for the little guy” attitude and its terrific performances from stars Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge. But after five wonderful years, it’s time to say goodbye. Leverage will come to a close on Christmas, Tuesday, Dec. 25, at 9 p.m., with a series finale that stands as one of the show’s best episodes.

We are honored to have worked with executive producer Dean Devlin, Electric Entertainment, creators John Rogers and Chris Downey, and all the cast and production crew on Leverage. We look forward to exploring new opportunities to work with them again in the future. We also want to thank the

Devlin penned a letter thanking TNT, the cast and crew and of course, the fans of the series.

  • Joseph

    Maybe we should hire a Cancellation Cub to go after and devour cable shows, since the Cancellation bear only goes after broadcast-network programs.

  • Joseph


    From TNT’s own press release, 8/12/11:

    Leverage premiered in 2008 and has grown its audience in each of its four seasons. This summer, leading into TNT’s new blockbuster hit Falling Skies, Leverage has expanded its audience to more than 4.8 million viewers, up 10% over season three, with 1.9 million adults 18-49 (+6%) and 2.3 million adults 25-54 (+9%).

    “While many shows decline in their second, third or fourth seasons, Leverage has defied the odds and continued to climb,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “More and more viewers are discovering this weekly joy ride through wonderfully complex schemes and con games, all brought to life through smart writing, sharp directing and a terrific cast.”
    Read more at http://thefutoncritic.com/news/2011/08/12/tnt-adds-more-leverage-as-hit-caper-series-enjoys-best-season-yet-616210/20110812tnt01/#w4UC5temVKE8W1sT.99

    Therefore, my question stands: if this is true, why cancel it?

  • Carlos Teran

    It’s so sad. It’s one of my favorite shows, and I’m gonna miss it so much.

  • Derrick

    so many morons, if you dont like a show, then thats fine, stop watching it. I know what you say will never matter but why do you idiots wish for a shows cancellation ????

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I’m disappointed that the show is canceled, too, it was one of my favorite shows for five years. But TNT undoubtedly had its reasons based on the ratings. I think the show could have gotten one more season, but that’s how it goes.

    The fact that Dean Devlin crafted a decent series finale at least demonstrates the intelligence with which this show has been handled throughout its run. The writing, the directing, the acting, the plots were all top notch throughout its run.

    I think the show might have gotten another season if this season had more of an overall story arc. This season was almost entirely procedural whereas the other seasons usually had some overall story arc that built up to the finale, while still remaining mostly procedural. I don’t know if that was done deliberately due to the possibility of cancellation in this season or what, but it probably didn’t help.

    That said, this season was still pretty good, with at least two episodes being outstanding – the one where Elliot, Hardison and Parker saved Washington and the following complicated murder mystery with Nate and Sophie. The DB Cooper episode was pretty good, too.

    I hope the writers move on to another show because John Rogers and Chris Downey are really good.

    Gonna miss the gang, especially the adorable Beth Reisgraf, but I’ll still follow them on Twitter as I have been doing.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Joseph: Number of viewers doesn’t count in a show’s renewal process. As you can discover on this site, the number of viewers in the 18-49 demographic are what is important. Leverage has been doing a .5 rating or so for a while – not good enough by TNT standards.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    TNT says it focuses on the 25-54 demographic, but still.

  • Dan

    This news isn’t that much of a surprise. TNT had another veteran, The Closer end this year and they renewed all 3 of their new dramas, Dallas, Perception, and Major Crimes plus veterans Southland, Falling Skies, Rizzoli & Iles, Franklin & Bash are all due back for new seasons in 2013. It seems that TNT had no room for their current longest running drama, Leverage.

    TNT should have announced this in October but maybe they needed to see how the second half of the season would do.

  • Eric_Philly

    As someone who watches the show… it’s about time.

  • Dan

    @Joseph – That news story was from over a year ago. This season, Leverage has gone down in viewers and the show’s age means its likely more expensive. TNT has so many shows returning next year that they probably had to let go of Leverage.

    Basically, what a network can show about a series can change considerably in a year or even months and weeks depending on so many factors.

  • ParkerForever

    Thank you, Leverage people, for an imaginative if under-appreciated show. We enjoyed every episode.

  • C.S.Strowbridge

    Damn. I loved this show.

  • Justin

    Seriously, TNT sucks… I don’t have cable. But ever since TNT made the deal with the cable networks, and blocked being able to watch their shows online unless you had cable… stupidest move ever!! I haven’t been able to watch new shows as they come out… I bet their ratings dropped heavily, just due to that stupidity. I mean come on… if I have cable, and a DVR, why the heck would I want to watch it online… I want to watch it online, because I CAN’T watch it on Cable or don’t have cable.

    BS… sad to loose Leverage, and new episodes but screw TNT!! Like most networks, they screw things up and then cancel good shows. Beth Riesgraf has been in some of the new Criminal Minds episodes, as Spencer Reid’s love interest… maybe she’ll get a bigger role or something.

  • silvit


    Because as always TNT bosses talk crap. These are first season ratings:

    The series ranks as ad-supported cable’s #1 entertainment program in the Tuesday 10 p.m. (ET/PT) time slot among viewers, households and adults 25–54. The December 7, 2008 premiere was watched by 5.6 million viewers and scored TNT’s best original series telecast ever in delivery of adults 18–49 during the regular broadcast season. Through its first nine episodes, Leverage averaged 3.2 million viewers and 1.4 million adults 18–49 in Live + Same Day viewing. The first six episodes scored strong growth when comparing Live to Live + 7 numbers, with total viewership rising 33% to 4.1 million and adults 18–49 rising 42% to 1.9 million.

    Note that it aired during the winter against broadcast competition. In the subsequent seasons it aired in the summer.

    If you’ve followed this site for a few years, you’ll know that its ratings were better a few years ago. (you can still find article in the Google archive)
    Live+ 7 days are meaningless (otherwise The Closer would have had its best season ever in 2011) so they don’t matter if live viewing is down. And this move by TNT proved that.


    TNT says many things. Obviously they said that since it’s the only category in which they outperform the other cable channels. If this is true, then why they canceled Memphis Beat which did good in that demo but they renewed Franklin and Bash the same year (and this year, when it did worse that Leverage in the summer and it’s not even an in-house production) which did better in 18-49 and 18-34 (something that they happily highlighted in their press releases at that time ;-) )?

    TNT bosses remind me of CBS’s, who always highlight the 25-54 demo when they perfectly know it doesn’t mean anything business-wise.

  • USAmerica1st

    Sad news. I liked this show a lot. Nice 5 season run, though. All good things must end, eventually.

  • steve

    Damn :( but after dean came out and said they had filmed what they allways intended to be the series finally from the pilot it probable is best.

  • cimmer

    Considering how this season has been played they probably had a good idea that this would be the final seasonal and thus no overall story arc just a series of procedural set pieces. I hope the final ep really does function as a good wrap up.As for the ratings an demos that cable channels go for, as has often been said on this site, it’s cable, decisions regarding renewal and cancellation are sometimes made for reasons other than just ratings.

    Still it had a nice five year run with season five being a little on the lax side IMHO. This seems like a good time to end it although I truly think they had basically made up their minds on that score a while ago.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I just found me a new show to watch, so maybe that will dampen my Leverage disappointment a little.

    Transporter – The Series has started becoming available online after debuting in Germany last year and HBO Canada next month. The show will debut on Cinemax next June. The episode I watched is apparently from HBO Canada.

    It stars Chris Vance (the guy who played villain Mason Gilroy on Burn Notice a couple seasons ago, and currently Jane Rizzoli’s love interest Casey on Rizzoli and Isles) as the Jason Statham character, Andrea Ostvart, a Hungarian actress and model who plays his associate/hacker/girl friend, and François Berléand, the French actor who originally played the French Inspector in the movies. Another French actor is Delphine Chanéac as Juliette Dubois, a DCRI agent investigating the Transporter network sprawling across Europe, while posing as his neighbor.

    For those unfamiliar with the Transporter series of films, Wikipedia describes the concept as follows:

    Frank Martin is the Transporter. He transports anything, anywhere, for anyone. A former Special Forces operative, he is highly trained in driving, combat and survival skills. A man of determination and integrity he always completes his missions and abides by three, very specific rules:

    “The deal is the deal”
    “No names”
    “Never open the package”

    Whatever happens, Frank always follows the rules. But nothing ever happens like it’s supposed to…

    The show has a lot of action – car chases as befits the concept and somewhat sped up fight scenes and shootouts – and doesn’t shy from showing very nekkid ladies. The episode I watched last night had Rachel Skarsten, a really hot blond. in several nude scenes.

    Apparently the networks showing the series are airing the episodes out of order. The French network appears to be the only one showing them in what is believed to be the correct order. It’s unknown in what order Cinemax will show them.

    I’m looking forward to continue watching this series. It’s slick and fun if not Emmy material. But it will never compare to Leverage.

  • TonyR5

    @Richard Steven Hack

    That sounds like it will be a pretty entertaining series. Thanks for the info. I will keep an eye out for that one. I enjoyed Chris Vance on Prison Break, so I’ll be sure to check this out!

  • Dan

    @Robert – I don’t think the decision was so much about how well Leverage did in it’s demographic but the fact that it was an old show and TNT already had so many shows returning next season (Southland, Falling Skies, Perception, Dallas, Major Crimes, Franklin & Bash, Rizzoli and Iles) They figured that it was easier to get rid of Leverage than bring it back along with all the other shows.

    In 2011 two relatively young TNT shows got the axe, Hawthorne and Memphis Beat.
    In 2012 two veterans exited: The Closer and Leverage.

    My guess in 2013 Franklin and Bash will likely be axed. The series was the lowest rated this summer for TNT but for some reason they renewed it.

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