One of Showtime’s most-watched series, ‘Ray Donovan’, was surprisingly cancelled while it was still in season 7. As shocking as that was, not even show-runner David Hollander had any clue about it. Here’s why the crime drama series ‘Ray Donovan’ was cancelled despite a negligible drop in the ratings.
Seven seasons later, ‘Ray Donovan’ took its last breath as Showtime cancelled the celebrated series without a warning. It was surprising to see a show that brought in record-breaking viewership at the time of its debut being axed in a rushed and unplanned manner. What went on behind the cancellation? Keep reading to find out!
- The ‘Ray Donovan’ cancellation was sudden
- Why was ‘Ray Donovan’ cancelled?
- ‘Ray Donovan’ returned for a proper ending
The ‘Ray Donovan’ cancellation was sudden
Created by Ann Biderman and executively produced by David Hollander, ‘Ray Donovan’ became easily one of Hollywood’s most celebrated crime dramas. The Liev Schreiber starring series, ‘Ray Donovan’ had a smooth run for seven seasons until it was unexpectedly cancelled before season 8. The show followed the professional and personal lives of the titular protagonist who worked as a “fixer” employed by a law firm to make problems go away. That bracket includes bribing, threatening for life, and everything under the sky, legal or illegal, that could save the firm’s white supremacist clients. A plot this gripping and performances this intense from almost all the cast members earned the show massive critical acclaim and awards.
Naturally, when the news of the series being cancelled was dropped by the Showtime network, ‘Ray Donovan’ fans found it hard to accept. In fact, so sudden and shocking was the cancellation, that even lead star Liev Schreiber nudged the fans to approach the network with the plea of non-cancellation. Not just that, even David Hollander and the whole ‘Ray Donovan’ team had proceeded following season 6 with another 2 seasons on their minds. Hollander told “Vulture”,
“We were so used to it being the other way, where we were burned out by a show that was very hard to make and the network would pull us and cajole us and push us. We were used to being a show that was not cancelled. We never thought we would be cancelled”.
Why was ‘Ray Donovan’ cancelled?
Despite being one of the top tier series on Showtime, ‘Ray Donovan’ was still cancelled and not knowing why still eats away at the minds of the fans. However, as reports suggest, it might be that the performance and the premise in the later seasons of the series did not quite meet the expectations of the new ownership of the network post the merger between Viacom and CBS. Show-runner David Hollander definitely considers that as one of the major factors influencing the cancellation of the series. He said,
“The corporate elements of show business are complicated and often mired in things that will never be spoken out loud. I think the easiest external impact was the merger [between CBS and Viacom]. Whatever new environment grew from the merger clearly had some impact on their choice”.
That, however, does not explain why Showtime could renew shows that had lower ratings than ‘Ray Donovan’. The answer is the production costs were getting out of hand. As Hollander notes, as the crime drama aged, the relationship between the viewership ratings and the production cost began getting complicated. Moreover, with every season, the budget was escalating fast. In fact, the decision in season 5 to jump cities saw a huge hike in the production cost and that made ‘Ray Donovan‘ one of the most highly budgeted series in production. To be fair, and even David Hollander agrees, ‘Ray Donovan’ was an expensive series that was going into its eighth season with an even bigger budget – more than what the network’s financial model could handle. And, just like that, cancellation was the only way to go!
Ray Donovan’ returning for a proper ending
Although Showtime cancelled ‘Ray Donovan’, the seventh season of the series had ended on a huge cliffhanger. However, to give the fans the closure they deserved, ‘Ray Donovan’ could not walk off into the sunset without a proper ending for a goodbye. The first whiff of it came from lead actor Liev Schreiber himself who explained on an Instagram post that the voices of the fans have been heard. Schreiber wrote,
“It’s hard to describe how amazing it feels to those of us in the Ray Donovan family who have been lucky enough to experience the overwhelming love and support that you all have expressed for our show since the news broke that Ray would not return. What’s even more incredible is that it seems your voices have been heard. Too soon to say how or when, but with a little luck and your continued support, there will be more Ray Donovan”.
That being said, the Showtime network representatives have not yet confirmed where, when, and how ‘Ray Donovan’ could return to provide a proper ending. Whether it be in a few episodes, a film or a limited series, whichever way that may be, as long as it happens the fans are good!
Do you want to see a proper ending for ‘Ray Donovan’? Let us know in the comments below!