Unfortunately, the dream of getting a Reverie season 2 over at NBC is fading far off into the distance.
Today, the network officially canceled the Sarah Shahi show, which demonstrated a great deal of creative promise through its brief summer run earlier this year. The idea behind it was innovative, at least for network TV standards, where the story focused on a woman named Mara Kent (Shahi) who had the responsibility of pulling people out of their imaginary dream-worlds after they found themselves stuck there. Yet, the more Mara traveled into these dream worlds, the harder time she had determining what was real and what was a fantasy in her own mind.
Where did Reverie go wrong? Let’s start by stating this — it was an original property airing on network TV in the summer months which are typically lower viewership. Let’s add to this by saying that it was an original science fiction property airing on network TV in the summer. It’s very hard for original genre stories to find a life anymore without some sort of amazing-lucrative streaming deal or some network giving it a massive signal boost and strong belief in their creative. Reverie never had the promotional push it should have (at least beyond the lanyards we got from our time at WonderCon earlier this year) and it could never find much of a stable viewership. Its ratings started weak and it struggled to build from there. This was not a case where it got off to a great start and then just had audience erosion with a series of bad story decisions. It just didn’t have good footing from the get go.
There were a lot of ways in which season 2 could expand upon the story, but now it’s hard to see another network eagerly jumping on the property. The ratings just aren’t there, especially in the modern era of hyper-competition where every single show has to compete for every last viewer. It’s hard to get a guarantee that a season 2 elsewhere would get even 75% of the viewers of season 1, especially since the earliest it could probably premiere at this point is in the summer. There were things that Reverie still needed to work on (more stories for its supporting cast and finding ways to balance out the story-of-the-week and larger-story components), but it had a rock-solid premise and a fantastic lead. With those two building blocks alone there was a good chance that they could’ve become something more.
Alas, that’s not the case this time. Instead, we’re left to dream about what another season could’ve looked like with this cast and crew.
The fate of many summer series is still in the wind, whether it’s Take Two on ABC or Salvation over on CBS. Hopefully, more information will creep in on these shows soon.
Let’s close this article by saying this: Networks today (remember, Good Behavior was also canceled) have decided that announcing this news the day of the midterms is even better than announcing it late on a Friday — this way, the news can get out and people will forget about it by tomorrow. (Photo: NBC.)