If you want to get a prime example of why there are many people out there who get frustrated with network TV, just take a look now at the case of “The Family.” This is a show that had a small but devoted audience, and unfortunately, the writers did not have the advance knowledge that they needed to tie up all loose ends for them before the season 1 finale.
As a result of that, we now have a new murder, and a cliffhanger that revolves around Adam’s resurrection-of-sorts. There was clearly a lot of story here that will not get told, as the show was formally canceled by ABC citing the low ratings. It’s probably even more of a bummer when you consider precisely what the second season was going to entail.
In speaking on that subject further in an interview with TVLine (which was conducted prior to the show being canceled), executive producer Jenna Bans explained some of what the writers had planned:
“The tone of the show will always be a fast-paced, twisty-turny thriller, in a way that doesn’t hold answers back from the audience … We’ll still have our flashbacks, but they’re going to be telling a very different story in Season 2. They won’t be surrounding the time of the disappearance. We’re going to have a riveting murder mystery going on, because as you see at the end of the season finale, Bridey has been murdered, and it heavily implicated Willa. You’ll see in Season 2 that that answer isn’t so clear-cut. A lot of the flashbacks will revolve around Bridey, and I said to Floriana [Lima, who plays her], when we made the decision to go this way, that this is the one show where you might actually have a bigger part, having been killed off. [Laughs] We do take place in more than one time period. She was excited about that. She’s definitely not off the show, and we have some good stuff coming up with her. And, of course, we have the Adam storyline. He’s out there, and it won’t be late into the season that he makes his reappearance into the family…. The season opener will begin with Claire seeing the real Adam. We’re not going to wait. It basically happens in the teaser. [Laughs] We have this great, dramatic way of opening. It will be in the first two minutes of the show.”
Now is the time to be frustrated with ABC … though to be fair, a lot of fans are feeling that way with the network right now. Just talk to some of the folks who loved “The Muppets,” “Nashville,” “Galavant,” or the percentage of “Castle” fans who still wanted to see the show move forward with a season 9. This was a brutal week, but when you have a change at the top (Paul Lee was replaced during the season by Channing Dungey as programming head), these sort of seismic shifts do happen.