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ABC’s Last Resort Cancelled

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ABC’s political/military thriller Last Resort has been cancelled; after its original run of 13 episodes, the series will disappear from the primetime schedule.

Set in a near future in a U.S., Last Resort stars Andre Braugher as Captain Marcus Chaplain, commander of the nuclear submarine Colorado. Ordered to fire the sub’s nukes at Pakistan, Chaplain refuses, setting off a chain of events that lands the sub and its crew in direct confrontation an off-the-rails U.S. agenda. The now-rogue sub finds sanctuary on a small Pacific island while Chaplain and his officers try to find a way to peacefully come home. The U.S. government (or at least the part of it in power) has no interest in the crew’s safe return to the U.S., even to face a court martial panel. That sub and those crew members are the smoking gun, proving the U.S. government government has gone rogue. 

The controversial political and moral themes of Last Resort have made the series a rare bird on network primetime, and perhaps the series is better suited to cable, where it might have been given the time to find an audience. The scheduling also has not helped. With its 8:00 p.m. ET time slot, the show has to compete with mega hit series X-Factor and The Big Bang Theory

Last Resort is a drama for adults; it’s political overtones of an America we no longer recognize and a setting in the very near future, make it a cautionary tale, and perhaps a bit too unsettling for some, given our current fractured political climate. The personal drama with its tension between the Island’s residents and the crew — and the crew amongst themselves make for good drama as well, but also raising some interesting questions about loyalty, patriotism, ethics and morality.

I am sad to see Last Resort go. It deserves a bigger audience, and who knows? Perhaps it will find one on cable or in the brand new world of new media.

I don’t know if the show’s creators have completed the scripts for all six of the remaining episodes, but if they haven’t, I hope they re-craft them to draw the series, if not to a conclusion, at least to a reasonable break point. If we get that, we can bookmark it, shelve it, and hopefully get the chance to take it out once more, should the series get a new life down the line in some form. 

In the meantime, you can catch Last Resort at 8:00 p.m. Thursday nights on ABC. And in a coincidental bit of programming, Jessy Schram who plays Christine Kendal on the show, will be my guest Monday night on Let’s Talk TV LIVE, so, if you’re a fan of the series, tune in and show your support.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."
  • Stephanie

    I feel bad for ABC. They have some of the best programing on television. But when the make a mistake they make a big one. Last Resort should not have been canceled. It was one of my favorite new shows of the season. Please reconsider your decision.

  • Brian Tate

    Really might be a long list of ABC shows that got canceled to early. Don’t know why I even bothered to get hooked on Last Resort. Flash Forward, Invasion, V. ABC does not have the guts to stick with a show long enough.

  • M.D.Simpson

    I used to watch ABC all the time, without fail. I quit watching some time ago. I thought this was the most refreshing show in the last 20 years. I started watching other ABC shows: what is the point they will be cancelled anyway.

  • C Sedgwick

    TLR was one of the finest weekly shows since 24. Excuse me, but I am not aware of the station that aired 24. TLR had the bones to be a 6 year running series. It was phenomenal!!!! My brother turned me onto it, and I was hooked from the 1st episode. ABC has been known to have great foresight and to air the most intriguing, phenomenal shows in the hx of television. I will sorely miss TLR.

  • Tracey

    Love this show. Undertones of a government you can’t trust because of its leader. Sounds too familiar of current times. Kind of scary & makes you wonder why it was really canceled!

  • Ayradyss–you are right. The system needs to be revamped. People who watch shows like Last Resort or any sci-fi oriented series (which the show, with its near-future setting certainly is) are more often watched streamed or by other non-live methods.

  • Ayradyss

    Yet another good show that actually had plot bites the dust. Personally, I’d like to see the whole “Nielsen” ratings system dismantled and replaced with something better. Don’t think it could be much worse, given the tripe that gets the ratings these days.

  • Danee

    I adore this! Hate that it’s cancelled!

  • Dane

    Love Last resort

  • Hailstorm

    Every american should watch this show futuristic(Yes) possible(Yes)Or worse!
    Wake Up america!

  • Leethal 1

    Must have ruffled some feathers!
    No more good morning amerika or any abc broad casts for me!

  • az k

    one of the best political thrillers.hope it comes back

  • RB

    Looks like perhaps the plot got a little bit to warm for the present Administration. Obama did’nt like it.

  • I was concerned from the start that it wasn’t really a network show. Much better on cable, maybe Starz or AMC, etc. Even syfy or the science network (because it’s a futuristic cautionary tale)

  • Caitlin

    It’s upsetting and quite a shame Last Resort has been cancelled. It is one of the only good shows currently on TV. The creators should try to get the show picked up by USA or FX – networks who’s viewers enjoy more intellectual stimulation than the ABC viewers watching Gray’s or The Bachelor. Even if the series was finished out (instead of an abrupt one season ending) and sold on DVD without being aired I, and I’m sure many of the other 9million+ viewers, would buy the entire series.

  • Darcy

    Last Reaort is awesome why do the networks AX awesome shows & keep crap on tv. This always happens I loved Jerico too & of coarse it was cancled! Last Resort is the only worthwhile show ABC has. If this show is cancled I’m done watching ABC wrong move TV Excecutives!!!!!!!

  • bob horn

    That Big Bang Theory and X Factor beat out Last Resort just shows the dismal state of network tv and its viewing audience. There are those of us that want thoughtful programming, not insipid comedies and repetitive reality/song and dance shows. We’ll all save $$$$ as we discontinue cable tv subscriptions.

  • Lori

    I love the show. ABC please don’t cancel it or I may not be watching ABC anymore.

  • Paul

    Bad move ABC! You lost me as a fan! I love last resort!

  • ABC = Already Been Cancelled. I love this show too, but in that time slot, it never had a chance.

  • Swaggirl

    What makes ABC think another show will do any better against X Factor and BBT. This show already has the audience. No wonder people prefer the cable networks with real shows like Burn Notice/Walking Dead/White Collar. Guess we are stuck with reality crap

  • StormKat22

    I am sooo sorry that this show hasn’t caught on. I hope that it does get picked up elsewhere.