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

Categories: 1-Featured,Broadcast TV

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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.

  • johnhelvete


    I agree. Fox is potentially doing a show next season, Rake, which will be 17 episodes. 17 episodes a season for 5 seasons equals 85 episodes. That seems the way to go for a show like Revenge. 13 is probably not realistic for network television, but 17 or 18 episodes should be strongly considered for non procedural shows or comedies.

    Why not run 9 episodes in the fall and than the final 8 episodes in the spring? Without interruptions? The writers could plan a big cliffhanger at the end of the 9th episode and the audience will hopefully come back in the spring for the rest of the season.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    If Kelley couldn’t handle 22 episodes, he needs better writers. You know going in you have to deal with 22 episodes. So deal with it.

    There’s nothing says he can’t have two 11 episode (or other break based on scheduling plans) story arcs to keep things tight through 22 episodes without resorting to “filler.”

    The article I read said fans were irritated by The Initiative story arc and “Emily not revenging”, which is precisely correct. The shorter episode line is an excuse.

    I suspect we may see the show disrupted by this change so much that ABC may be forced to schedule it for mid-season with 13-episodes. Since the ratings will probably go down either way, I suspect season 3 will be the last.

  • Evan

    I kind of agree with ABC here and with the poster above. Network tv shows are 22 episodes and he knew going into it that was going to be the case. The first season of revenge was great and it was 22 episodes and a good showrunner can extend a show beyond 1-2 seasons even with a limited concept. LOST who would of thought you could make a show out of people being stranded on an island. And they ended up making 6 seasons! well 3 shortened seasons but that was to make it last another year. So Kelley trying to push a 13 episode season just doesn’t make sense in network tv. They would need to have like 4 more seasons of revenge to get it into syndication where as they would normally only need 2 more additional seasons. ALSO then the show would have to premiere in the midseason which is never good taking such a long break.

    Also people noting how Scandal did 2 seasons in 1 thing are correct BUT they only did that because Scandal was only picked up for a 13 episode season 2 renewal because its ratings were on the fence. So the season needed to have an ending just in case they weren’t renewed. Then once they found out they had gotten the back 9 episodes they had to basically start over with the 9 additional episodes cause they had already written the first 13 episodes. I doubt next year scandal does the same thing since they will be renewed for 22 episodes off the bat.

  • rehabber

    I like the 13-15 ep season, then you don’t have a lot of filler garbage..Both Supernatural and TVD ended up with 23 eps this year and many bad fillers. Go with 13 straight through and put 2 seasons in a year. I love USA, they have great shows and short seasons.

  • James

    A shortened season is alright, but Revenge is in the most strategic spot — Sunday 9pm. If it gets 13 episodes the show following Revenge won’t have a lead-in throughout the season. Unless Revenge moves to 10pm where ABC can replace shows easier, I don’t see any possibility of a short season.

  • Doug

    Where’s the market for a show like Revenge in syndication? There isn’t one. Mostly likely it will be sold to a niche cable network for a pittance, if it makes it that far.

    But the network model still works on the 22 episode standard, so there it is.

    Revenge’s problem is two-fold: they blew through storylines like crazy, and only had about 1 season of really good material because of it. They could have stretched it out to 5 seasons on a 13 episode model, but I don’t really see it making it past season 3.

    Scandal will have the same problem next season, mark my words. Enormously entertaining, but it can’t keep topping itself.

  • Amy

    I think that younger audiences are used to watching cable dramas (13-16 episodes a season) so the networks are going to have trouble getting the 18-49 demo if they insist on producing 22-24 episodes of year.

    IMO in the future network TV will only have sitcoms and reality shows on.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Doug: “Revenge’s problem is two-fold: they blew through storylines like crazy, and only had about 1 season of really good material because of it.”

    But this is precisely why the show took off like it did. This is precisely how a show should be done: take off running and never stop. Up the ante every season.

    What was missing was the same material times two for season two . Instead they got overly complicated, brought in a ton of unnecessary characters and slowed the show’s pace down dramatically to fill 22 episodes. That was not upping the ante. All that could have been avoided if they’d spent more time concentrating on the factors that made season one so good.

    They just dropped the ball in season two. And it wasn’t because of the number of episodes.

  • Spencer

    You know….technically they COULD do a 13 episode seasons. But they could do so in a different way….Basically they can split one full (22 episodes) season into two parts….complete with a ‘Winter Finale’ and a ‘Spring Finale’ and the second half of the season can act like how the new short season would be…i wonder if that could work…

  • ZmaX

    I think there’s more to this story than just the episode number. In a recent interview, Kelly said that he sees each season split in two.

    S1 was divided into episodes 1-15 and 16-22, S2 episodes 1-14 and 15-22

    We get a flash-forward of a cliffhanger in the premieres that builds up to the end of the first half and then the rest of the season is the repercussions of that event. Great game plan, I don’t see why he couldn’t do that again for season 3.

    But i do feel like people have over exaggerated the “bad” quality of this season.

    Season one led to Emily taking down the white haired man (The man who Killed her father).
    Season two is leading to Emily taking down the Initiative(the terrorist group who caused that plane bombing in the first place).

    The Initiative was established in season one so she would obviously need to take them down too, but the problem is that the storyline for season 1 was a lot more personal for Emily, she knew all those people she took down, but the Initiative is just a group in the shadows who had pulled all the strings.

    Having a much more personal mission for Emily next season should help a lot.

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