Following in the footsteps of Walker Independence, The Winchesters and Kung Fu are the latest CW shows to suffer the reaper’s axe.
The Winchesters is a prequel series to the phenomenally successful Supernatural, centering on John and Mary Winchester, parents to Dean and Sam.
Born from an idea by Jensen Ackles, Danneel Ackles, and Supernatural writer Robbie Thompson, the series ambitiously took fans all the way back to 1972, when Dad met Mom. That is to say when John Winchester (Drake Rodger) met Mary Campbell (Meg Donnelly), and learned that the sleepy town of Lawrence, Kansas hides a dangerous world of monsters, demons, hunters, and even some dudes who go by the name Men of Letters.
In our preview of the pilot episode earlier this year TVPulse Magazine wrote:
“The Winchesters forges its own path. And it does so confidently and with optimism and charm. The fact it does so with Supernatural writers and actors on board is a distinct advantage. Whether this new show can stand out from the CW’s stable of returning Fall teen dramas is not just up to its creators and producers, but ultimately to those who choose to tune in and support it. For our part we feel there is much to like here, and great potential for the show to run and run.”
Executive Producer Jensen Ackles tweeted Thursday afternoon:
“Looks like we got work to do. #SaveTheWinchesters #spnfamily”
The message to fans suggests the shows creators will seek a new home for the fledgling series. Adding fuel to the speculation fire, Deadline yesterday also suggested that producer Warner Bros. TV is currently shopping the series, in much the same way Jared Padalecki is seeking a new home for Walker Independence.
Kung Fu, yesterday similarly axed, will also not return for a fourth season on the CW.
The series centered on Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang), a young Chinese American woman, seeking to escape the perfectly constructed life her controlling mother has planned out for her by escaping to the peace and security of a Shaolin temple run exclusively by and for women. Nicky spends three happy years there, absorbing the wisdom of her mentor Pei-Ling (Vanessa Kai), and learning to master the art of Kung Fu. However, after a traumatic event at the temple forces Nicky to return to the family, ex-boyfriend and life she ditched earlier, she learns that picking up the pieces of her past will be no easy task. Using her new skills Nicky must defend her family and her community from the most determined of criminals.
TVPulse Magazine wrote of the show that despite some tendency towards superhero formula, Kung Fu was culturally significant:
“It’s taken decades, but we finally have a likeable, non-fetishised, female, Asian superhero gracing our TV screens, in a show with a full cast of Asian actors, and a token white dude. However, it’s not enough. Not yet. Like America herself, the series needs to show its characters a little more love, and demonstrate a determination to look beyond formula, cliches, and stereotypes for that which truly connects us, as TV viewers, as superhero fans, but mostly as human beings.”
Commenting on both cancelations, the CW issued the following terse statement:
“As we reimagine the new CW, we had to make some tough programming decisions. We thank our partners at Warner Bros. and the casts and creative teams of Kung Fu and The Winchesters for all their hard work, creativity and dedication.”
CW fans can expect further cancelation announcements as the Network changes direction with its programming choices this fall via a selection of unscripted and sports fare and further overseas acquisitions in a bid to stem the haemorrhaging profit margins that have dogged the Network over the last ten years.