From 1995 to 2004, ‘The Drew Carey Show’ cheered television audiences with its comedic portrayal of Drew Carey as a hapless assistant director of personnel in a fictional Cleveland, Ohio department store. However, the show ended after nine seasons.
It concluded its run with a satisfying finale titled ‘The New York Friars Club Roast.’ This episode saw the main characters bidding farewell, providing closure to their storylines. While misadventures marked Drew Carey’s journey, his final season depicted moments of triumph in his professional life and romantic pursuits.
One major reason the show got canceled was because fewer people were watching it over time. This drop in viewership made the show less profitable for ABC. As the show’s production costs kept increasing and its audience kept shrinking, it became harder for the network to justify keeping it on the air.
The departure of key cast members also played a role in the show’s demise. Several actors who had been part of the series since its inception chose to move on, either pursuing other projects or feeling that the show had reached its natural conclusion. The absence of these essential characters created challenges for maintaining comedic consistency and narrative coherence.
In addition, shifts in creative direction contributed to the decision to cancel the show. The show’s writers experimented with new storylines and characters to rejuvenate the series, but not all of these changes resonated with the audience. Some fans felt that the show’s original charm and humor had diminished over time. And it led to a disconnect between the viewers and the evolving show.
Furthermore, the evolving landscape of television played a role in the show’s cancellation. The rise of reality shows and innovative programming eroded the appeal of traditional sitcoms like ‘The Drew Carey Show.’ Despite the show’s dedicated fanbase, it struggled to compete with emerging forms of entertainment that captured viewers’ attention and interest.
As the show’s journey ended, different opinions emerged regarding its cancellation. Sam Simon, the director of the final episode, criticized the network’s decision, saying in an interview:
“You can point to a lot of things that ABC did — they did a lot of things that were dumb, and I think this was one of them.”
He also added:
“If the people who put the show on the air at ABC were still there, we’d still be on the air, and we’d still be a hit. It’s just an embarrassment to new regimes when other shows do better than the ones they put on the air.”
Drew Carey also commented on the issue:
“I don’t have anything bad to say about ABC. I never will. I only tried to do a good show. After that, it’s out of my hands.”
While ‘The Drew Carey Show’ bid farewell, Carey continued his presence on the television screen, hosting shows like ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ and creating spin-offs like ‘Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show.’ While the show’s cancellation marked the end of an era, it also marked a new phase in Carey’s career as he explored different entertainment avenues.