Why didn’t Happy Endings season 4 ever get made? Here’s what went wrong and why the popular comedy TV series may continue in the 2020s.
Why didn’t Happy Endings get a season 4 on ABC? The comedy series aired for three seasons between 2011 and 2013, but the critically-acclaimed TV show was cancelled after season 3. With a renewed streaming-driven fan base and the original cast interested in returning, perhaps Happy Endings season 4 could happen in the near future.
Created by David Caspe, Happy Endings follows six friends — Elisha Cuthbert as Alex Kerkovich, Zachary Knighton as Dave Rose, Eliza Coupe as Jane Kerkovich-Williams, Adam Pally as Max Blum, Casey Wilson as Penny Hartz, and Damon Wayans Jr. as Brad Williams — navigating adulthood, romance, and life in Chicago. When Alex leaves Dave at the altar on their wedding day in the sitcom’s pilot episode, the dynamics between them and their four best friends are thrown into wildly funny disarray. Happy Endings earned a following because of its fresh comedy and exploration of sexual politics, but also because of the cast’s extraordinary comedic timing.
By the season 3 finale, “Brothas & Sisters,” loyal viewers were invested in the fate of each protagonist — specifically, the future of Alex and Dave. The long-time lovers decided to break-up, and then danced with their best friends in the series’ final moments. Although the series has developed somewhat of a cult following, Happy Endings season 4 hasn’t happened — yet. Here’s why Happy Endings was officially cancelled, and what fans can expect for season 4.
Why ABC Cancelled Happy Endings
ABC cancelled Happy Endings in May 2013 because of low ratings. The comedy series was previously pulling in over three million viewers and was at a 1.2 in demographics for the 18-49 age range before viewership took a dive. A day and time slot change during Happy Endings season 3 — from Tuesday evenings to Friday nights at 8:00 pm ET, with an additional weekly airing on Sundays — attributed to its premature demise, with ABC shuffling around the sitcom’s episode broadcast order and weekly time slot becoming too much to keep up with.
This ultimately led to declined ratings and a demo drop to 0.7, which is low for ABC standards. Once it did finally return with a new time slot on Friday nights, it was pre-empted by the nightly news because of a hunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. The ratings ultimately reached an all-time low for Happy Endings season 3, episode 21, ironically titled “Unsabotagable,” presumably the result of ABC’s changing schedule and audience confusion about when the show’s new episodes would air.
Why Happy Endings Season 4 Never Happened
After ABC cancelled Happy Endings, Sony TV, which produced the series, shopped the sitcom around to different networks and streamers like Netflix, which has saved many network shows. The cable network USA considered picking Happy Endings season 4 up, but ultimately chose to focus on developing its own original comedy series. The low ratings also contributed to USA passing on picking up Happy Endings for another season. With no other networks or streaming services willing to pick up Happy Endings season 4, the ABC sitcom ended with only three seasons to its name.
In July 2020, the Happy Endings cast reunited for a special COVID-19-themed episode that sparked renewed interest in the series. Each of the main cast members reprised their role during a 28-minute Zoom call, in which the characters discussed what they’d been up to during lockdown. Alex surprised her friends by stating that the pandemic was a hoax, while her former beau Dave seemingly knew little about the Coronavirus because of a prolonged retreat in the desert without social media. All of the characters seemed painfully disconnected from each other, which felt like the ideal comedic set-up for a Windy City reunion in Happy Endings season 4. However, Happy Endings star Adam Pally doesn’t think it will ever happen for various reasons. While some may be clamoring for more of Happy Endings after its cancellation, fans will have to settle for watching it on streaming.
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