While it may have been nice in a vacuum to have a Training Day season 2 many months ago, the reality now is that it’s not happening. Even if it was, it would be hard to imagine it.
Typically in some of these articles written around the finale for the show, there are interesting discussions to be had about whether or not a show could or should return. It’s a little bit different here for several obvious reasons, beginning with the fact that series star Bill Paxton is no longer with us. While the show could have gone on without him and tried to honor his memory, it would have ultimately felt strange and it would be impossible for any marquee actor to follow him up. Much of the foundation of this show was about the relationship between Frank Rourke and Kyle Craig, so that dynamic will be missing something incredible without him around in the part.
Even if Paxton was still around, the unfortunate truth is that Training Day likely would be canceled. The ratings for the show on CBS just are not good enough. Before the show was moved to Saturday nights, it was averaging around a 0.7 or 0.8 rating in the 18-49 demographic. For a first-year scripted show far from syndication, that is not a good enough performance in order to justify the show getting another episode order. Since the move to Saturdays, the show is only getting somewhere between a 0.3 and 0.4. Even Ransom, which was put into exile on the night from almost the very beginning of its run, was performing better.
In retrospect, the best way to look at Training Day is probably as a great testament to the work of Paxton, someone who put a lot of everything into his projects and was beloved for a good reason. He made his characters deeply flawed but also incredibly real. You cared about them, and in so many ways you related to them. This helped them to stand out so much more than the average role in either TV or film. Enjoy Training Day for what it was, and then hope that some of the other cast members get an opportunity to move on to other things.
The one lament that we have upon the show ending is that CBS did not find a way to keep the show on at a time when many people would have had proper opportunity to see the full extent of Paxton’s work. (Photo: CBS.)