Hulu Cancels Steven Levitan Series 'Reboot'
Yup, it's so brutal out there in Streaming Land these days that even the 'Modern Family' guy can't get a season 2 order
Hulu has given the boot to Reboot, Steven Levitan's meta-ish single-camera, multi-generational comedy about the stars and producers of an aughts-era family sitcom reuniting to "reboot" their show two decades later ... on Hulu.
According to the Penske Showbiz Trade conglomerate (opens in new tab), Reboot creators Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, along with Twentieth Television -- who previously and famously conspired to create ABC's long-running, multi-generational single camera hit Modern Family -- will shop Reboot to other distributors.
Modern Family won five consecutive Outstanding Comedy Series Emmys. And Levitan, understandably, as a lucrative multiyear deal with Twentieth TV to keep producing shows.
As for Reboot, it stars Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville and Judy Greer.
With its eight-episode first season debuting Sept. 20, it's hard to know how Reboot fared audience-wise.
The numbers probably weren't great.
Reboot never surfaced on Nielsen's weekly rankers, for example. For the week of Sept. 19-25, the No. 10 show ranked on Nielsen's top 10 list for minutes viewed for original scripted streaming series, Netflix's Stranger Things, garnered 416,000 viewing minutes. So, at least domestically, we know that Reboot's premiere drew less than that level of viewership, because it wasn't on the list.
The show did receive a solid 88% aggregation score on Rotten Tomatoes, and of course, had as good an EP pedigree as any subscription streaming service you'll find.
Looking at it another way, amid the competitive noise Reboot tried to break through was the early September premiere of Cobra Kai: Season 5 on Netflix -- a series that jumped the shark back in season 4 ... but like a lot of refugees, found an audience on Netflix and was able to get renewed for season 6.
Reboot also had to compete for viewing time with the business end of Netflix's bleak Dahmer and season 5 of The Crown, as well as Amazon's Lord of the Rings series, er, reboot ... and Hulu's A Handmaid's Tale.
But it's brutal out there in Steaming Land these days. And even for a proven winner like Steven Levitan, it's don't give us excuses, give us results right way.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!