Showtime will not be proceeding with a third season of “SMILF.”
Following an investigation by producer ABC Signature Studios regarding the on-set conduct of creator and star Frankie Shaw, Showtime has announced that the series will not be returning. The Golden Globe-nominated comedy had already been in the process of scouting locations for the now-canceled third season.
ABC Studios addressed their investigation, which resulted in the suspension of Shaw’s contract, prior to the announcement. “Frankie Shaw’s overall deal with ABC Studios has been suspended without pay while we review our options,” said a spokesperson for the studio.
Showtime also addressed the decision on Friday, stating:
“After weighing a variety of factors, Showtime has decided that ‘SMILF’ will not move forward for a third season. The remainder of the second season will continue to air as scheduled on Showtime through its series finale on March 31. We remain extremely proud of the two seasons of ‘SMILF,’ and thank Frankie Shaw for her singular voice and unique creation, as well as the dozens of writers, producers, actors, directors and crew members both in Los Angeles and on location in Boston, who contributed to this exceptional series.”
The fate of “SMILF” was cast into doubt when The Hollywood Reporter revealed back in December that Shaw’s behavior on-set had been “completely unprofessional,” particularly when it came to filming sex scenes. The primary source of this came from actress Samara Weaving’s exit from the series, which has been attributed to an alleged breach of her contract regarding nudity. Additionally, complaints had been filed with the Writers Guild of America concerning writers not being properly credited, as well as allegedly being separated by race.
“I can’t express how much I’ve loved making this show, how much I love the cast and crew and appreciate Showtime and ABC as creative partners,” Shaw said of the decision on Friday night.
While it began as a solid ratings performer for Showtime, “SMILF” has taken a notable hit in its second season this year. The sophomore series has been averaging a 0.06 live + same day rating in adults 18-49 with 201,000 viewers, down from its first season’s 0.17 rating and 548,000 viewer averages.
There is still no word on how the events and investigation mentioned above have impacted Shaw’s ability to still move forward with her upcoming limited series based on Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar.”