'Revenge' Creator Mike Kelly Leaves Showrunner & Executive Producer Role

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

Written By

April 23rd, 2013

Revenge Season 2 Premiere Emily in Red

Revenge creator Mike Kelly will be stepping down as executive producer/showrunner at the conclusion of the series' second season. ABC has not yet named a new showrunner for season three. In a statement, Kelly said:

In a difficult mutual decision between myself and ABC studios, the end of my current contract will mark my final season as showrunner for Revenge.  Helming this series has been the ride of a lifetime, and my producing partner, Melissa Loy, and I will look back on our Revenge time with deep gratitude and respect for Emily and Madeleine and the rest of the incredible cast, our heroic crew, the dedicated and imaginative producing and writing team, and the tireless post production department," said Kelly in a statement. "I would also like to thank Paul Lee, his marketing team, and the creative executives at ABC and ABC studios for their profound support throughout this journey. I'm excited about finishing post production on the season two finale, which I hope will stand among the best episodes of the series thus far. Continued success to all.

  • Gil

    While all shows would probably benefit from cable scheduling, that is not a luxury that ABC (or any broadcast network) can truly afford.

    ABC has to schedule nine months of 21 primetime hours. If they were to order their series like AMC or HBO, they would need two additional shows just to fill the Sunday at 9pm slot from September to May.

    The broadcast networks don’t have subscriber fees to subsidize production costs, so they often rely on repeats to help defray the costs of a first-run episode. They could never survive only spitting out first-run episodes all year.

  • frodo

    I think season 2 has gotten much better lately. However this show would have definitely benefited from a 13 episode season, 22 to 24 episodes just do not work as well for these type of shows anymore. Cable TV is kicking butt in both quality and ratings and having 7 or 8 months to work on the show definitely has a lot to do with that, also less breaks and more focus.

    By the way I think Emily Vancamp and Madeline are amazing in this! I do not know where this show will go without David, hopefully season 3 will be great. I think Mark B Foley, Nikki Toscano, or Joe Fazzio should take over the reigns as they have written the best episodes of this show so far and have been with the series since season 1.

    Sunil Nayar came in on season 2 and while I enjoy his vision and writing, I am not so sure he should hold the reigns.

  • Patrick Ausgewahlt

    We don’t need less episodes, we need MORE episodes. It they produced 28 episodes a year they could do a 12 and 16 fall spring split with just one hiatus.

  • Justin121

    Isn’t that why they invented mid-season finales?

    Call it a 9-episode season and a 13-episode one in one regular TV season.

    Or 12 and 12, as ABC actually wants 24 episodes a season of REVENGE.

    The show has finally gotten back to its roots, this shouldn’t be happening now!

  • Ike

    @Patrick, that only works in theory. The quality of the show would plummet and it would be much slower. Have you watched seasons 6-11 of Dallas lately, or other old shows that did 28-30 a year? Yikes. The quality is NOT good.

    I’m not sure why ABC wouldn’t want to go to 13 a year for this show, at least as an experiment to see if faster, punchier seasons would get its numbers back up. It’s not like serialized shows perform well in syndication anyway! Anybody seen any reruns of 24 or Gossip Girl on cable lately? No? I didn’t think so. I guess they think they can make money selling 22 a year to Netflix in perpetuity though, and on DVD, and maybe they can. We’ll see.

  • a p garcia

    Sad to see him go, could this signal the end of Revenge. It should air like 24 did, with no interuptions. If a 13 episode order can do that, then I am for it. I think moving Revenge to Sunday was a mistake because there seems to be a special or a repeat every other week. Besides, the characters and plots and sub plots are just too complicated for a haitus/repeats every other week.

  • Kate

    Season 2 has definitely improved over the last few episodes, but it’s still not back to its season 1 glory. The breaks haven’t helped with ratings, either. I’m interested to see what a new showrunner will bring to the table in season 3.

  • SJ

    I see that ABC is making another Jon Robin Baitz/Brothers & Sisters mistake here. Let’s just hope this show won’t suffer the way the former has. And well, Blue Bloods remained the same show after a showrunner change after season 1, The Walking Dead changes them every season and it seems to be doing fine, so… let’s just wait and see what happens.

    The good news? Now certain idiots that predicted Revenge would only be renewed for a 13-episode season can finally STFU! :D

  • Marsinvestigations1@gmail.com

    Why not 15-18 episode seasons?

  • A.C.

    Not sad. I gave up watching around November thanks to the character of Aiden, the poor recast of the Japanese mentor and the whole Initiative thing…it had come too far from the “Take Down of the Week” I loved in Season one.

  • iMember

    @A.C. If you watched all of Season One then you would know the show didn’t follow a “Take Down of the Week” formula. They did four take downs in the beginning and then one in the middle of the season. That’s all they did.

    Also, I’m really sad to hear Mike Kelley leaving. He’s said on more than one occasion that Revenge is like his baby. His vision. So to see him stepping down is really sad. ABC should be smarter though, any show would work better with shorter seasons and Network television needs to start getting on board with that because right now Cable (which has less money than Networks) is kicking their butts!

    I think Revenge Season 3 is more than a sure deal now though. It seems ABC wants to keep it going.

  • Bee

    i have such mixed feelings on all this.

    1. 13-episode seasons are great. usually tight w. no fillers. but the idea that they’re a necessity? long before cable domination, EVERY show did 22 (sometimes even as high as 27!) episode seasons and there are plenty of amazing tv shows from the past. so why are writers suddenly incapable to do so?

    2. this feels like a huge mistake. i LOVE revenge and hope it can survive this, but it’s like what would happen if grey’s (God forbid!) lost shonda rhimes. it was this guy’s vision and project. if anyone can bring it back to its glory days, it’s him. if he needed shorter seasons, then maybe do what parenthood does and end early or save it for midseason. besides, he recognized the overplotting of some of the season and has been correcting it. and it shows with the latest episodes being great. but fingers crossed still becuase i REALLY don’t want revenge to be a one-season wonder.

    3. BOOKWORM SPEAKS THE TRUTH! i can’t belive networks still aven’t figured this out yet. shonda rhimes, yet again, is a genius because scandal has the framework of a network show, but operates like a cable show. a recent review i read even mentioned that for those who want a network show that does what a cable show does, scandal is for them. the first 13 episodes of the season had one story, while these last 9 have another. it feels like 2 seasons in one. the key is having enough story. and scandal has both episodes with cases (like emily’s takedowns) and full-on conspiracy episodes (like revenge’s longer arcs).

    long story short: i need and hope that revenge becomes a big success again.


    Forgot this show was even on. FOX is investing in ‘cable ‘ type shows. The Following was only 15 eps, and they said it would prob remain that amount for season 2. FOX is also making pilots for some 10 episode series

  • frodo

    No offense, Following is terrible regardless of the number of episodes.


    @frodo I would disagree.

  • Sunny

    For me, Revenge’s second season didn’t live up to the first. I still record it, but almost never remember to watch it when it airs. Don’t know who’s fault it is, but the storyline just got super boring and repetitive.

  • reiaod

    they were flailing all around looking for ideas they never could execute. They had an idea for a miniseries not a series and couldn’t pad well .

  • Jayson

    Season 1 actually faltered a little once the show was picked up beyond the initial 13 episode story. I know Mike Kelley had planned to resolve the dead body issue in the 1st 13 episodes.. but when ABC picked up the show, he ended up adding filler. I would have resolved that story in those 13 episodes, and then plotted out the fall-out/next step in Emily’s revenge for the remaining 9 episodes.

    Shows like Knots Landing had 30 episode seasons, but they had several ongoing story lines that were paced at a different speeds. One story would just be starting, another would be in the midst of buildup, another would climax, while another story would be resolving/moving onto the next arc.

    Revenge is sometimes too limited in scope/story to do a 22 episode season successfully… Scandal could do a 22 episode season if there was not just one on-going story.. Perhaps have both of those stories going on at the same time… one ends as the other continues, but a new story can get started. So there are constant must-see episodes since numerous stories would climax at different parts of the season.

  • Ali

    Ok, this is shocking news to me but then again I dont want to read doom and gloom just yet. Shows are made by hundreds of people not just one person. I hope this is for the best and not for the worst.

  • Jon

    @TVMAN The Following is 15 episodes because that’s the most Kevin Bacon would agree to do. I’m sure if he was willing to do more, Fox would have made it 22.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures