The Real Reason Calista Flockhart’s Ally McBeal Got Canceled

Bihter Sevinc

The American legal comedy-drama TV series, ‘Ally McBeal’ aired on Fox from September 8, 1997, to May 20, 2002, running for five seasons. However, the show was not renewed for a sixth season.

Created by David E. Kelley, ‘Ally McBeal’ was well-received by critics and audiences and won several awards, including Golden Globes for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for Calista Flockhart, who played the lead character.

However, despite its initial success, the show’s ratings began to decline in later seasons. Even with extensive promotion, Monday’s two-hour episode recorded the lowest ratings ever for the series in the crucial 18-49 age group. It had an average of 9.4 million viewers and secured the 65th spot on the annual ranking list of all the year’s TV shows.

The departure of Robert Downey Jr., who joined the cast in the fourth season, was also cited as one of the reasons for the drop in ratings. Besides having the lowest ratings, the fifth season of the show was also the only season that didn’t win any Emmy or Golden Globe awards, further showing its decline in popularity.

‘Ally McBeal’ featured Calista Flockhart in the lead role of Ally, an attorney employed at the Cage and Fish law firm in Boston. The show revolved around Ally’s journey through life as she searched for love and happiness, often delving into the romantic and personal lives of the main characters, with legal cases serving as a narrative backdrop.

Besides Flockhart, the cast also included Courtney Thorne-Smith, Greg Germann, Lisa Nicole Carson, Jane Krakowski, Peter MacNicol, Gil Bellows, Lucy Liu, Portia de Rossi, and the musician Vonda Shepard, who became well-known because of the show.

In March 2021, there was news about a potential comeback of the show as a limited series. Then, in August 2022, it was reported that ABC was in the early stages of creating a sequel series. Karin Gist was set to write and be an executive producer for this project. This time, it will center around a young Black woman who starts working at the same law firm.

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