Why was Station 19 canceled?

Danielle Savre on Station 19.
Maya’s story may be ending earlier than planned. Pic credit: ABC

Before Station 19 launched on ABC in 2018, there were many questions about whether we needed a firefighter drama set in the Grey’s Anatomy universe. 

The series managed to break out of the shadow of the long-running medical drama thanks to its brilliant characters and more nuanced storylines. 

Despite the connective tissue between the shows, Station 19 managed to come into its own quickly, and the show secured a wealth of passionate fans. 

Unfortunately, ABC recently announced that the hit series would end with Station 19 Season 7. 

Even worse, it’s a truncated 10-episode season, meaning that there’s a high probability some of our favorite characters won’t get the arcs they deserve to wrap up their storylines. 

For a show with such a devoted following, a cancellation this soon didn’t seem like something that would happen. 

Naturally, there are questions about what went wrong, so let’s dive into why ABC gave the show its marching orders. 

The Broadcast TV game is changing

With the advent of streaming, there are endless ways to watch TV and more shows on the air than ever before. 

The result is a large proportion of the audience not keeping up to speed with shows as they are and watching on their own terms. 

The days of appointment TV viewing are a thing of the past, with shows like House of the Dragon and Yellowstone only fitting that bill nowadays. Even at that, they’re both cable shows. 

The big issue plaguing any long-running show is the budget. If the show can’t be made at a price point that makes sense, then it won’t be made. 

Look at Blue Bloods, for example. It almost never got a renewal for a final 14th season because the cast salaries had gotten out of control due to the show’s longevity. 

The cast agreed to take a 25% pay cut to keep the show on the air for one last year. Had they not agreed, there’s a chance the Tom Selleck drama would have concluded without a pre-planned conclusion. 

Station 19 doesn’t play as well internationally as Grey’s Anatomy, so in all likelihood, the bulk of its money came from it airing linearly on ABC. 

As a result, the network likely made the call to end it while there was a chance to wrap some of the storylines up. 

Did ABC picking up 9-1-1 seal Station 19’s fate?

When it was announced that 9-1-1 was moving to ABC, it raised questions about whether ABC would be parting ways with some of its shows. 

Station 19 is ending alongside The Good Doctor, with the network believing that both dramas have run their course. 

Had 9-1-1 not been on the schedule, there’s a chance that either of the two above shows would have snagged pickups for an additional season because the network would probably have needed one of them. 

That’s why it’s tricky to say whether 9-1-1 is directly responsible for any of the cancellations. 

We know that 9-1-1 is a much bigger show and commanded astronomical ratings when it aired on FOX, so ABC was always going to take on the show if it became available. 

Will Station 19 have a conclusive ending?

Given that Station 19’s demise was announced as production was getting underway, there’s a chance that some of the storylines won’t get the time they deserve. 

With the show having ties to Grey’s Anatomy, there is always the possibility some of the cast members could switch over to the original series. 

Jason George and Stefania Spampinato started on Grey’s Anatomy, so there’s that. 

Station 19 is currently on hiatus. Season 7 premieres Thursday, March 14, at 10/9c on ABC. 

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1 month ago

This is one show that I will be so sad to lose. There has been brilliant storytelling that has kept me tuning in every season. I actually prefer this to Chicago Fire.