Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Houdini & Doyle cancelled (UPDATE)

TV Line is reporting that Houdini & Doyle is not being renewed by FOX. Other sites are picking up the news, but there is yet no official confirmation from FOX or anyone involved in the production.

As I reported last week, the series is an independent production, so it's not impossible that a second season could still air on another U.S. network.

I'll report back when I have something more official.

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter says it has "confirmed" no Season 2 for Houdini & Doyle, so it looks like this bad news might be true.

UPDATE 2: Deadline reports that FOX has confirmed the cancellation.

UPDATE 3: GlobalTV in Canada has announced it will also not be renewing the series:

"Global will not be renewing Houdini & Doyle for another season," a statement from the network announced. "We are proud of this series and thank our production partners for their passion and collaboration on this project."
"We are very proud of Houdini & Doyle," Christina Jennings, executive producer, chairman and CEO of Shaftesbury, said in a statement. "This has been an extraordinary collaboration with multiple partners from the get go and has required all three broadcasters to pull off. Unfortunately, when one major partner does not renew, it makes it very difficult, almost impossible, to continue."


  1. It might return someday. If Doyle believes in life after death, so do I.

  2. Maybe the producers can make a feature with the cast.

  3. Sad, but not really surprising after it was buried on an unpopular pay-to-watxh channel in the UK and didn't receive a publicity push from Fox. I do wish they hadn't ended on that shot of Houdini's mother, which appeared to suggest that "ghosts are real after all".

    I doubt that the series had the ratings to be picked up by another producer or migrate to a feature film, but it's pretty common for smallish cult shows to "continue" as graphic novels, if there's enough fan support.

  4. Same story basically every week, so I understand....

  5. I'm actually surprised how much ratings still matter. I know very few people who still watch broadcast TV in real time. Among the people I work with -- 20s and 30s -- I'm the only person who still has cable, and even I only DVR programs.

    When I was talking to the Fox press people, even they said they expected this wouldn't be a series many people would watch in broadcast. It would be discovered later and binge watched. They're right. A healthy little Houdini & Doyle fandom has emerged on Twitter and Facebook. But they only showed up after the series had completed. For them, when something shows up as "new" on Hulu, that's when they learn about it. I can't tell you how many people ask me if I've seen "the Netflix Houdini miniseries." They have no idea it ever aired on History.

    But even though people who actually work at Fox understand how people now consume TV (because they do it themselves), everyone still works off the old rating model and make decisions based on that. But I sure it's all numbers and formula based and they know how and where they make their money. Reality hasn't yet effected the old models enough for them to start thinking in a new way. It will happen eventually. But not soon enough for H&D.

    My bigger concern at this point is whether we'll get a U.S. DVD release. Streaming has certainly cut into that market, and I fear DVDs are on their way out before broadcast. I haven't yet bought the UK DVD, but I'm thinking I might need to now. I want this complete series safely stored on my shelf.

  6. It's a real shame that FOX, after they did such a lousy promotion job, decided to let this show go, though I can't say I expected much better from them.

    My hope is that because H&D is co-produced (I've singled out at least three production companies) with Britain's ITV in charge of ordering the series, it will keep going, just not on FOX, and maybe not in America. The writers and producers seem really passionate about the project, and I feel like they'll do what needs to be done to help it continue.

    The head of one of the co-producers, Shaftsbury, also produces the Canadian procedural detective show "Murdoch Mysteries," and she personally shopped that show to another station after the one they had started on decided to cancel after five seasons, despite having incredibly high ratings around the world.

    I honestly think H&D would have done better on a station like PBS. Audiences are more welcoming to costume dramas there, and as far as mystery programs, Sherlock seems to have done pretty well for itself.

    As to a DVD, I have a feeling we will get one. If you notice, Sony Pictures Television is partnered with one of the production companies (BigTalk) and has a whole website devoted to the show. Their home entertainment division will probably be handling the DVD release. I just don't know when that will be.


    1. I think you are right the show would have been better off on PBS on Masterpiece Mysteries or something. Fox's online team did great work, but that was the only promotion I ever saw for the show.

      Big Talk did the UK DVD. Not sure who would have the U.S. rights.

    2. Hopefully PBS will pick it up. My mom's really sad that it got cancelled...

  7. Whether by design or bad leadership, Fox really blew it with the promotion. They did a wonderful job with social media, online and mobile. However, it’s not the only game in town. In my opinion, traditional advertising is still part of the equation, especially with a network tv show’s first season run. This is not a criticism of social media, as it’s vital in the promotion of any new piece of entertainment. But it’s only half the story. We still live in a physical world. We still walk outside and drive our cars. That’s why they should’ve had billboards, bus wraps, bus stop posters, radio ads on sirius, outdoor guerrilla advertising, etc. I asked several people what they thought of the show and most didn’t even know about it. And the ones that did, had very little info. Whether a show is good or not is debatable. But not even knowing about it? That’s advertising malpractice. Just my 2 cents.

    1. So true. Apart from online, promotion was nonexistent.

  8. Well the truth of the matter its Foxs Loss!!!
    The show may not have been great and accurate but it was entertaining and certainly better than the Simpsons.
    They are plain stupid for canceling it. HOUDINI LIVES ON.