Why NBC canceled waste after only one season (what went wrong)

NBC canceled Wreckage after season 1, and there are a few reasons why the network ended its new sci-fi show. The high-concept show initially seemed promising: An X-files-like dynamics of two agents traveling around the country investigating mysterious anomalies caused by the debris from an alien spaceship that crashed to Earth and broke up in the planet’s atmosphere, scattering the pieces all over the place. The buzz around it was loud, especially with two charming lead roles in Jonathan Tucker (Bryan Beneventi) and Riann Steele (Finola Jones) and Fringes creator JH Wyman bag. Unfortunately, after being canceled, Wreckage season 2 is very unlikely.


Unfortunately, the series never really got off the ground and the network will move forward with one Wreckage season 2. On the surface, the reason for the cancellation was the reason for all cancellations: the numbers just weren’t there. After such a promise, the show never really found its foothold and did not reach large numbers, reaching only an average rating of 0.7 in the all-important 18-49 demographic and under five million viewers per episode. episode. And the numbers kept falling. Its latest ratings were a dismal rating of 0.38 and 2.8 million viewers, terrible numbers for a network series.

Related: Debris: Every property that foreign technology has shown (so far)

However, low ratings do not come out of nowhere. If the audience is not watching a show, there is a reason for it. Wreckage failed to get in touch with viewers, and that was because it lacked the one thing that all TV shows must have in order to succeed: a story engine. Here’s exactly why Wreckage got low ratings that led to it being canceled and whether there is hope for one Wreckage season 2.

What happened to NBC’s waste?

Waste on NBC

NBC’s cancellation made many people wonder: what happened? Wreckage? In the end, the show’s lack of a story engine undermined the sci-fi series from the beginning. A story engine is a concept that is a little hard to define, but basically it is exactly that: what drives a show. That’s why the characters do what they do, rooted in who they are and what they want. No matter how exciting an introductory pilot or premise is, a TV series ultimately needs something that makes audiences return week after week. It should give them a reason to worry about the characters and what happens to them, and Wreckage‘lack of the driving motor led to its cancellation. Without it, the audience just loses interest and drifts away.

After 13 sections, Wreckage still did not know where it was going. The bigger problem is that it did not provide a compelling reason why the audience should have stuck to it until the show found out. Unfortunately, without a story engine, the characters did not resonate with viewers enough to make up for the lack of direction. Despite the brave efforts of Steeles and Tuckers, Wreckage‘s Finola and Bryan only ever remained sketches rather than fully educated people because no engine was driving what they wanted. Without it, the audience would not care.

Why NBC Canceled Waste is a Common Sci-Fi TV Problem

Properties of the Debris series of foreign technology

Wreckage however, is not alone in being canceled for this reason. TV is filled with programs that can charitably be described as all head, no heart, high-concept series that seem great on paper but that lack an emotional hook to keep people watching. Wreckage is just another example of a flawed show that is structured as a procedure but relies on “mystery box“conceited. The problem is that the concepts do not work together. Investigation procedures are a simple structure and a concept: a person or persons are presented with a crime or mystery and go through the steps until it is solved. A larger, the overall mystery can put on top of a procedure’s story-in-the-week format, but by the end of the episode it’s better to solve the central story for the week, and at the end of the season, most of the main questions should be answered.

Related: Waste may not be the next X-files until it solves its modern Sci-Fi problem

Mystery boxing, however, is basically the opposite of a procedural in its nature, why Wreckage season 2 is unlikely. While the concept has been around for a while, it is modern mystery box was popularized by JJ Abrams. If an audience has seen Abrams’ Lost, then they have become acquainted with a mystery box show. The metanature of a mystery box show is not bad in itself, the problem is when the show becomes a Jenga tower of mysteries added to mysteries just for its sake; eventually the audience needs answers. They need payout after the time they have invested. When nothing is ever resolved, it is impossible for viewers to get a firm grip on what a show is or where it is going. That’s pretty much what happened Wreckage and led to its cancellation.

Will Debris season 2 happen

Riann Steele as Finola Jones in Debris Season 1 on NBC

In recent years, when series have been canceled prematurely on networks, they are often intercepted by streamers and given new life. It does not seem to be cast with Wreckage season 2, which almost certainly will not happen after NBC has canceled Wreckage. Sometimes, if a streamer sees something in a canceled cable or network show worth saving, even a troubled show can re-emerge. That decision, however, usually depends on the show having a passionate fanbase; the series may not draw big network numbers, but streamers are counting on the loyal audience that follows the show over on their platform. While Wreckage premiere set up its spaceship story, which was not fully addressed by the season finale, the show did not really have time to build a small but passionate fanbase. It’s a shame, that Wreckage had the germ of something big. Unfortunately, Wreckage does not seem to have any of the factors that streamers usually look for when considering whether it is worth choosing the option of a show, and its early cancellation says so much.

If Wreckage should see renewed life along the way, it probably would not come in the form of Wreckage season 2. Instead, it is more likely that the core idea of ​​canceled Wreckage would be saved and reworked for a reboot in a few years or another show with a different title. In the end, despite having a very cool concept, Wreckage just did not have enough to keep the audience going. Whatever adventures Finola and Bryan might have will remain as undeveloped storylines.

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