ABC: Can The Mayor find new life on Hulu

Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The 13 episodes of The Mayor currently streaming on Hulu include four bonus episodes that  ABC didn’t air.

The returns are in and ABC’s The Mayor will not return for a second term on ABC. The network canceled The Mayor after airing nine of the 13 episodes filmed. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the network is shopping the show to see if it can find success elsewhere.

It’s happened before. Remember The Game? The show originally appeared on The CW before receiving a second shot on BET where it soared for several seasons.

At the time of this writing, per The Hollywood Reporter, Hulu has obtained the rights to the series. Fans of The Mayor may find themselves back in Fort Grey, CA cheering on the heartwarming antics of Fort Grey’s youngest mayor soon.

Fan support for The Mayor along with Hulu’s partnership with ABC prompted the network to release the entire series on Hulu. This offers fans closure while giving them an opportunity to see how the series wraps up.

Stars of the series, including Bernard David Jones, and Yvette Nicole Brown posted the news on Instagram when ABC decided to release Season 1 including the unaired episodes on Hulu.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BebiagwHQAp/

What happened?

The Disney owned network tried something fresh and creative with The Mayor. The network says they did everything they could to ensure the show’s success.

The problem according to ABC is viewers just didn’t buy what they were selling.

Not so fast ABC. It’s true the network put money into marketing the show, however, whether or not the show was given every opportunity to thrive is a different matter.

The network’s first mistake was pitching the show as political satire. It’s true the show’s premise surrounds a young rapper who runs for political office as a publicity stunt. At its core that is not what the show is about.

The show focuses on doing the right thing for the right reasons. It reminds us there’s humanity in all of us and one person can be the catalyst for change.  While it’s true the backdrop is city hall, The Mayor is political satire in the same way that Benson which was set in a governor’s mansion served up political satire.  Robert Guillaume played Benson DuBois in the sitcom from 1979 – 1986.

Like most sitcoms, The Mayor highlighted important issues in society and the best way to approach them to make life better for everyone. In the Christmas episode, the citizens of Fort Grey pitch in to make sure everyone had some holiday joy. Dina Rose played by Yvette Nicole Brown even drags her Christmas tree to the community center to share the love. That’s what The Mayor is about. What little things can each of us do daily to create a small ripple effect in the universe?

The network’s second fatal mistake was the time slot. Comedies usually need time to come into their own. Despite a lead-in by Black-ish one of ABC’s strongest comedies, The Mayor faced an almost impossible battle. The show was up against the second half hour of NBC’s acclaimed breakout hit This Is UsBlack-ish has seen a small slip in ratings since going head to head with the Pearson family.

How many shows has ABC moved around to find an audience to help boost ratings? ABC never tried to place the show in another time slot. Sparring for viewers vs. This Is Us  put the show behind the 8-ball coming out of the gate. Still, the show thrived among fans who tuned in. Few found anything negative about the show once they tuned in. That’s a great indication that the show could be a success if given a chance.

Can The Mayor succeed on another network?

Maybe ABC itself was the problem. ABC viewers see the world differently than viewers who watch Freeform, one of ABC’s sister stations. If the powers that be applied the same logic to The Mayor they applied to Grown-ish chances are the reception would’ve been better. The demographic that watches grown-ish embraced The Mayor on ABC, plus Zoey Johnson already had a built-in following from Blackish. Airing the sitcom on a network geared to a younger demographic more in tune with the character of Courtney Rose would’ve made a difference.

If The Mayor is picked up by Freeform, Hulu, or BET it will find success in a niche demographic.

Episode 13 is a must-see because it wraps the series up in a nice bow.

If the series finds a new home the cliffhanger sets up future seasons nicely. If the unfortunate happens and The Mayor becomes a one and done candidate the last episode of the season ends the series on a nice note.

Maybe all The Mayor needs to thrive is a name change, a new network and a different time slot. A show titled Fort Grey, or The Roses might be an easier sell in this climate.

In Fort Grey, CA everything always comes up Roses. Our fingers are crossed that a network will hold a special election and stop rebooting old shows and bring back Courtney, Dina, T.K., Jermaine and Val.

Maybe Freeform will do a crossover episode between Grown-ish and The Mayor.  Courtney could agree to do a benefit concert on Zoey’s campus. Maybe Jermaine decides to take classes at the same school. There are many scenarios to use to relaunch the heartwarming show.

For now, all 13 episodes of The Mayor’s freshman season are streaming on Hulu.

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