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WGN Cancels ‘Outsiders’

WGN America has pulled the plug on its sophomore drama series Outsiders, the network confirmed Friday.

The series, which follows a family clan defending their mountain land and their way of life from the town below, is currently in its second season. While the show has done well from a ratings perspective, Peter Kern, interim president and CEO of WGN parent Tribune Media, said in a statement that the company will be “reallocating our resources to a more diverse programming strategy.”

The network has been on ratings roll, posting this past March its best primetime monthly viewing audience in network history -- led by Outsiders and sophomore series Underground.

The series finale of Outsiders will air on April 25.

Kern’s complete statement is as follows:

“After three years of investing in marquee, brand-defining dramas, WGN America has successfully expanded its audience, its reach, and its presence in the minds of viewers.  In our next phase, we intend to expand our original and unique content to continue growing our relevance and appeal to the widest possible audience.  To achieve this, we will be reallocating our resources to a more diverse programming strategy and to new structures, enabling us to expand both the quantity and breadth of content aired by WGN America.  This move is designed to deliver even more value to our advertising and distribution partners.  To free up the resources to reach this goal, we will unfortunately not be renewing ‘Outsiders.’  We are grateful to our production partners at Sony Pictures Television and the terrifically talented people who made the show possible.”

R. Thomas Umstead
R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.