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ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey On Why NASHVILLE and CASTLE Were Axed From Fall Line-Up!

Photo: CBSNashvilleGetty

Photo: CBSNashvilleGetty

Soap fans were shocked and saddened by the news last week that both the primetime soap opera, Nashville, and the enduring Castle, were cancelled by the ABC Television Network, and would not be returning for the fall.

For daytime audiences, both shows featured beloved actor: Jonathan Jackson (Avery, Nashville and Ex-Lucky, GH) anf Nathan Fillion (Richard Castle, Castle, and Ex-Joey, OLTL), which made it all the more of a stinger.

In a conference call, new ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey explained to the press the network’s decision to ax the dramas from the fall line-up.

Dungey expressed:  “The studios in each case were looking for the best creative and financial ways to help their shows get another season, making plans should they get orders.  In terms of what we were discussing internally on the network side, it was (what was) best for the schedule and, obviously, looking at ratings, looking at our own planning and looking at some of the new development.  A lot of the decisions came down to the wire.  At the end of the day — even though both Castle and Nashville have been wonderful shows and great performers — we felt that the future for us didn’t necessarily lie in these shows.”

So do you think ABC made the wrong call based on their rationale for cancelling Nashville and Castle? Comment below!

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101 Comments on "ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey On Why NASHVILLE and CASTLE Were Axed From Fall Line-Up!"

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well then again, I guess that an ABC show in the future doesn’t necessarily lie in any ABC shows in my household…I have to assume that you people read all the media sites be it on facebook, snapchat or anywhere else and people are just not happy that you are screwing around with shows that we all love, but I guess when it comes down to it you obviously don’t give a damn what we like or don’t, its all a matter of money and what good for you to keep your pockets lined.. shame on you…this is one house that will not be watching anything other than GH from ABC, that is until you decide that’s also not necessarily in your future.




EXACTLY, JK. I can’t wait to see what drivel they replace NASHVILLE with. Let me guess….TEENAGE BACHELORETTE or GRANDPA BACHELOR or, even worse, another inane game show? It’s been a while since I’ve been this angry over a show’s cancellation. They renew a fine show like AMERICAN CRIME and then dump Rayna? Is that like giving with one hand and taking away with the other? SHAME ON YOU, ABC!


100% agree! I am so tired of choosing the shows, that I’m going to be completely “fan faithful” to & then after I spend the first several seasons falling in love with characters;loving to hate them or just loving to love them….It gets ripped out from under me! Why would I EVER again start watching another series on ABC??? If I can’t have the pleasure of watching Nashville, then I’m done! I will also stop watching General Hospital too! They do the same thing with that show (it’s become a million % worse in last 10 years) only with GH, it’s the actors they replace. I’m just done taking a chance & then truly loving a show & the actors (don’t kill off so many’s dumb to do it constantly) just to have ABC take it all away! You, the big bosses at ABC, do know we have lots & lots of network choices now,& you won’t be on my schedule if you take shows like Nashville away! I was over the moon when you finally gave Jonathan Jackson a great gig. One that finally allowed him to spread his amazing acting wings & his unbelievable musical talent all at the same time! You have had Jonathan since he was a kid & finally he is showing the fans how much more he is! Now you yank that away! The chemistry alone with Jonathan & Hayden is enough to keep us hooked. I guess that’s all the venting I have left. I’m so disappointed that ABC doesn’t realize, that we have the power & if you cancel our show(s) then we & all those we know will do the same… Not watch anything on ABC. I might even change my morning news choice. That is how tired of this action ABC keeps doing. Good luck; if you don’t hear our plea & keep Nashville ( the people that watch your shows) then you’re definitely going to need loads of it, luck that is! Trust me,it’s all over social media & peeps are really angry with ABC, we feel betrayed, again!


Of course it’s all about money. They’re a business, not a charitable organization. And they care very much what people want to see…that’s how they make a profit. Not care as in empathy, but as in getting their fingers on the pulse of what will bring in larger ratings.

With that said I’m beyond disappointed that Nashville was canceled. I love the show and it’s difficult to fathom how it didn’t draw more viewers. The talent was overflowing and it had it all…music, romance, rivalry, social issues, drama, family, friendship…And while I also agree that the show was more riveting in the first few seasons, it was still way above many of the shows that are still thriving or lasted longer. Lol…honey boo boo comes to mind…right along with Jerry Springer. Lowest common denominator seems to be the ticket to ratings…

nancy dillingham

If one is to believe that even an iota of the gossip that came down, the “Castle” was torn down from within, but ABC PTB simply put the last nail in the coffin (to mix metaphors) by firing Stana Katic.

Do this scenario seem familiar? Well, yes! Another famous couple on GH with instant and abiding chemistry–just like Nathan and Stana (“Castle” and “Kate”)–was also destroyed by ego–and kowtowing by TPTB. Oh, you guessed already? Guess what? You are right. Wait for it–the characters of Luke and Laura.

Seems the suits at ABC never learn–just keeping making the same fatal mistakes over and over. Well, viewers have l–o–n–g memories. Need I say more?

Chris Keller

Yes I think they made a HUGE mistake with canceling Nashville…Hoping another network will scoop them up…its a great show with great actors!!

nancy dillingham

Nashville was doomed after the first season when T. Bone Burnett left and when the story began to sprawl and lose focus–the focus should have remained on the characters of Connie Britton and Charles Esten. And, when they killed Rayna’s father off, played by the wonderful actor Powers Boothe, they put a huge nail in Nashville’s coffin.

Seems Connie Britton got involved in a lot of other projects (though she was listed as an executive producer of Nashville, and the writers never rightly brought Jonathan Jackson’s character in focus. Too bad–he’s a good actor. GH, bring him back so that he can work with Genie Francis.


I agree Chris. I was so bummed watching last night’s episode…knowing next week is the series finale. The episode was soooooo good! So much story left to tell, the acting terrific..the music woven into the fabric of the characters lives. Absolutely heartbroken over losing this show. There are petitions going around to save it if you want to sign.


No wonder ABC is going down and worse net work take every good show away!!! Very sad!!!

Christine Henderson

ABC won’t rest until they eliminate all of the daytime and evening drama shows. I read that they hired a new executive and she hates the idea of soaps. With the exception of GH, I will not watch another show on ABC. I boycotted them since they cut two of my favorite shows and only watched GH and Nashville. I only how that ABC gets what it truly deserves.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

I read that too some time ago-ABC no longer want continuing dramas because they are harder to sell in syndication!!!


Castle is airing on other channels so they were able to sell it.


It’s a lot of words for saying nothing.


I agree Mo. Lots of words and he didn’t say anything. What was the point????


That is nonsense, they just v did not want them amymore.
having not watched Castle I can not comment othen then it had a good run. But Nashville which I adored was still a young show. It’s all about ratings, What the network does not count isask other ways people watch. Just on their own time.

I am personally on the crusade to save the show

Julie Zimmerman

It’s a sad shame that ABC takes off some of the best shows on TV today. First it was All My children and One Life to Live . Do you really want us to tune in to ABC? Why invest my time in watching when you end up cancelling them! Maybe it’s time to switch to CBS or NBC.


I am not sure I agree with his logic. The state of Tennessee gave ABC more than $8 million in tax breaks last year to keep the show in “Nashville.” In the past four years, the number of international travelers to the state has quadrupled. The housing market has exploded and venues like “Blue Bird Café,” a prominent nightclub for singer/songwriters is always at capacity with tourists.

I agree the show was slightly unbalanced this past season. But, Hayden P was off the show for several episodes dealing with post-partum depression. Then, new writers were hired for the upcoming season. Now, it has been cancelled, with hundreds of unemployed cast and crew not giving proper notice.

During the past four years, Charles, Jonathan, Sam, Claire, Will and Chris have appeared all over this city, being the best ambassadors for the show. I wish all of them luck in their next venture. I still hope to see the show end up on TBS or a cable channel.


I am soooo hoping another station picks it up. Please sign one of the petitions going around.


I think ABC could have given these shows 1 more year, or even 6 more episode each to wrap things up. They have proven once again that we the views do not matter. They could save money by dumping the shows with the lowest ratings which I am sure is not Nashville and Castle. As a long time Castle fan, the ending was horrible. I have seen every episode since day 1. To only allow the writers to add a 30 second snip-it at the end was a disgrace. This is why most of the shows I watch are no longer on ABC.


I am very veey upset Nashville was canceled. You could have decently let us fans know..not just spru g it up upon us. Not very happy at all!


These were two of the only ABC shows I actually liked… Not liking the direction ABC is headed. Bye Felicia…

Julie Asper

I do think they are wrong! CASTLE is (was) a GREAT show. Been a long time since I found a show that I made sure I saw. I will definitely be missing that one! !!! VERY VERY SAD to see it end! Thanks for the good ending though. It was just how I would like to remember them…Happy and with children.

Sandy henry

As an avid tv watcher this is sad for prime time. They were 2 shows the entire family watched together every week. We did not watch it without one another. With all of the bachelor and bachelorette and over reality shows I will not be watching prime time.

Sandy henry

I am also upset about axing The Family and Game of Silence on NBC. I don’t see any reason to continue watching these shows knowing there will not be any closure.


@Sandy henry….I also watched “The Family,” well, at least the first episode, because I wanted to see the very accomplished and popular British actor, Rupert Graves, star in this stateside show. It had a really interesting premise, but I wholly expected that it wouldn’t take, just because it required too much of a thought process for people to engage and invest in it. I continued to read the recaps to keep apprised of the plot in the event this drama garnered a renewal, but like I said, it was no surprise that it failed. Sadly, intelligent programming on free networks only seems to attract enough viewers when it’s on PBS, which is why I simply don’t bother with ABC, NBC or CBS anymore. (Although I always live in hope for that to change…if Julian Fellowes’ “The Gilded Age” ever actually makes it to the small screen, I will definitely check it out!)

Jim Preston

I too was very disappointed to see THE FAMILY get the axe – it was an interesting premise and well acted and nicely directed. I really thought it had a shot but then I realized, wait, this is abc-tv and they cancel everything, oh except The Bachlorette which is inane crap – and of course their Dancin with the Stars (which is a little played out).
They needed to at least give THE FAMILY a season two – and at least tie up some loose ends – it’s like abc-tv just doesn’t know what to do – who the heck makes these decisions?

Elyse M Worth

It makes no sense to cancel Nasville but keep their stupid comedies! That’s fine, I have all the drama on NBC! I hope some other network or platform picks up Nashville. I only watch GH on ABC now. ABC has pissed me off again. First with canceling AMC & OLTL. It seems they don’t even want GH to be great. Most days GH is so boring!! Hopefully, with Jason getting him memories back and with the Nurse’s Ball coming up, we will have some good drama!
I can understand not renewing Castle without Kate; there wouldn’t be Castle!! They are a team! But I’m sure going to miss it!! Loved the finale last night.

nancy dillingham

I’ve been reading a lot of criticism about the finale of Castle. I personally liked it–at least the writers threw the faithful viewers a bone! 🙂

Elyse M Worth

They originally were going to kill Kate off if it got picked up for a 9th season. I’m happy that they had an alternate ending for us viewers who have loved Castle and Beckett’s love story.


Absolutely the wrong decision to cancel Nashville. GH and Nashville were the only shows I watched on ABC. Now I will only watch GH.


I’ve watched every episode of both shows. In the case of Castle, with Stana Katic (Beckett) and Tamala Jones (Lanie) leaving the landscape of the show, it made sense not to try and continue. The beauty of the show was the ensemble chemistry. In particular, Castle and Beckett aren’t the same without each other, proven by the attempt to separate them during the season where Beckett went to work in D.C.

For Nashville, however, the cancellation seems like a ridiculous thing to do. Even with Hayden Panettiere (Juliette) off dealing with her personal challenges, that show has a wealth of excellence from which to draw. ABC’s new guy at the helm clearly needs some career counseling. This was a bonehead decision.

Jeanene Hayes

I know for a fact they made a huge mistake with Nashville! All to keep trashy ,boring reality shows makes no sense! Nashville is one main show my husband and I watch together!


What did she even say? These PR speaks are so full of air. It causes me to scratch my head because she doesn’t say “why” the shows didn’t “necessarily” fit into where the network was going. If they’re performing and are well liked, why not keep them? Everyone knows it’s more difficult to get an audience for a new show than an established one. There’s just so much more to the story, isn’t there?


I agree Todd. Look at Grey’s Anatomy which is on its 11th year or so. The ratings were slightly down for several years and then the ratings have picked up in the last year and are now high again.


And ABC sabotaged a future for Castle when they didn’t renew Stana/Beckett’s contract for alleged “budget reasons.” As Rodd says more “PR speaks” along with talking out of both sides of your mouth.


Yes. ABC has nothing left to watch. They cancelled All My Children, and now Castle. I’m done with them.


ABC sucks, GH is in trouble. I will not be shocked, if ABC cancels GH next year.


She really answered the question. Maybe she’s an aspiring politician. Always blame someone else. I fear for GH. Clearly she doesn’t care for soaps. Or the viewers.

Chris G Cirillo

I am letting the network know that myself along with many others are tired of the networks axing the new TV shows. They are not given enough air time. The demographics they go by is so wrong. The networks discriminate on anyone older!!!!!

Lisa Kulesza

I love both shows. I was shocked to hear of their cancellations. Very disappointed in ABC. Why must all the good shows go? Take the Bachelor off the air, oh yea you don’t have to pay for the actors,at least I hope not. So far you have lost a viewer for Monday’s@ 10:00 and Wednesday’s @ 10:00. Are you going to crush my Thursdays too? I really think the executives have no clue what their viewers want. They need to rethink this NOW! I don’t care for any shows on Tuesday or even the rest of the days not mentioned. I am sure I am not alone. Guess ABC Network doesn’t care!!!

Cindy K.

You are right Lisa, you are not alone. I am down to watching two ABC programs on Thursday night and GH. It’s all about the all mighty dollar for the network, not the viewers.

Kate Harris

Yes ABC is making a HUGE mistake cancelling both Nashville and Castle.
Please find a way to keep them both!!


It may have truly been time for CASTLE but I wish ABC had just worked that through instead of playing games with a possible ninth season and firing Stana Katic. Bungle!

As for NASHVILLE, I will miss the show’s unique sense of place and its talented ensemble. The writing and story direction the last two seasons has been disappointing. I am not sure the producing team made the best choices in light of Hayden Panettiere’s pregnancy and need to be away. This season featured guest stars and story arcs that ended up as filler (the sexy sound op romancing Gunnar, the talented and homeless Veta, Luke’s good buddy who was to join him on tour). Even so, we in the audience got lots of good original music and strong acting. I do think ABC might have missed the boat on passing up a fifth season with the THIRTYSOMETHING/ONCE AND AGAIN showrunners. A successful reboot could have given this show a couple more years.

Chris G Cirillo

The networks don’t care about the viewers who invest there time watching the new programs only to have them get axed!! We get disgusted if they don’t get axed they are off for months, until they go back on!!!!!! But!!! we wait & wait to continue watching!!!!!! The networks will loose their viewers !!!!!!!!!


I am not happy that they cancel Nashville I look forward to it every Wednesday at 10 I don’t understand why they cancel all the good shows .

nancy dillingham

Nothing to look forward to now at ABC; I watch NONE of the comedies–they are too inane for me.


I loved Nashville. I looked forward to it every Wednesday night. I hope they find another
Network that will appreciate them. Hey Netflix do you need some country in your show of shows.

K. Ross

I’m with you. I loved Nashville it was different than anything else on TV. Entertaining and the music was great. I thought the same
thing maybe Netflix would pick it up. They picked up Longmire.


We think this is so sad because those shows are great and very enjoyable to watch Nashville was so entertaining with all those talented actors. Castle was was a good show too.


I think it would be bad mistake not have these shows.There not a good reason behind it.


I’m not sure why you cancel the show Nashville but I don’t think that was very thought out. You lost a loyal customer and will not watch ABC at all. You could rethink again and bring it back fir another season!!!


So you cancel good shows that you admittedly say we’re good performers for what?? More shows that show violence or stupidity in sitcoms? Do you even know your audience?

Cindy K.


Jayne Brenneman

This decision makes me want to never watch another show on ABC. Nashville was a favorite of mine. Bad decision.


Not a good move you lost many viewers, what idiots at ABC!


bad move .nashville very populayr in australia as well ,Claire bowen tickets to her show sold out in 3 minutes testament to how popular it is !!!!!!!!!

Susan Manning

I like both shows. I am turning away from ABC


Nothing lasts forever..
Nothing lasts forever..
Nothing lasts forever..

Time moves on and into new endeavors, as it should be, evolving.

nancy dillingham

But, su0000, evolving to what? As I said above, I watch none of the ABC comedies–just don’t have the patience for the inane. Do you watch?

nancy dillingham

Instead of watching the inane comedies on ABC, I find an old movie like–you guessed it!–“It Happened One Night” on a movie channel. What say you?


Ok….so the future of those shows isn’t on ABC’s future schedule. Now the future of your channel isn’t on my schedule. I used to watch primarily ABC but that has changed a lot since so many of the shows I was watching have been getting canceled and usually with no good finale to wind up story lines. I think for this next year that the nights I would normally watch ABC I may just take my time to the movie theater instead.

Instead of canceling “good shows” maybe you can find ways to work with the shows and make them better?????


Riduculos ABC doesn’t give a crap about its viewers!!! You just keeping pushing us all to other networks and we won’t invest in your future programming, since you’ll just yank it away when it’s not filling your greedy pockets. I need Greys is WAY OVERDUE for cancellation. That show has run its course!!!

Joanne Cecere

ABC always makes the wrong decision in my opinion……and I know someone who said most of the cast found out on FB, like the rest of us…… rude!




The day ABC cancelled OLTL and AMC showed their ignorance to their faithful fans. I was just starting to get over this ignorance with Nashville but I guess it’s time for me to view programs on other channels. When they bring back the daytime soaps and keep fan favorite shows on their schedule, I will return. All I have to say to ABC executives ….find a way to bring back fan favorites that works for all. If ABC doesn’t have smart innovative people working for them, they should be replaced.


ABC doesn’t invest in shows; it invests in rating$. It’s a business. A corporate entity. Human viewers and humanity are not in the company dictionary.


Blah, blah, blah! This is why I only watch GH on the rat network!! BOYCOTT ON!


I wish that these networks thought a bit more about profits that can be made outside of tv programming . Nashville had all these great songs : think about dvd , cd releases not just of the episodes but of the actors releasing song albums etc … You could have had ” Nashville in concert ” or ” Hayden Panetierre in concert ” with some of the profits going to abc . Blooming idiots !


the tv schedule is first and foremost for the viewers ! time to respect the viewers !


I really think you should rethink a lot of people will not be watching ABC and I’m one of them.


I didn’t like either show however is GH now asking Jonathan Jackson to return as Lucky? That would be nice, maybe he and Elizabeth could work things out since Lucky was just scared to be monster around his / the kids. That’s why he stays away.


Done with Abc .. We don’t matter we watch these shows for years and don’t even get a decent goodbye … Good luck Abc you need it..

Joan Faist

Bad move to cancel these shows without giving them time to properly write an ending for the characters.
It is clear again that who ever makes decisions like this at ABC does not care about the viewers. Very bad move ABC!!!!,,


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