The magic is gone already. The CW has cancelled the Fantastic Friends TV series after just two airings. The show has been renewed for a second season, but it’s unlikely that the US network will be airing it.
A light-hearted docu-series, the Fantastic Friends TV show stars James and Oliver Phelps, aka the Weasley twins from the Harry Potter movies. Part adventure-travel series and part a celebration of friendship, the cameras follow the Phelps twins as they travel around the globe, from Iceland to Ireland, from St. Lucia to Dubai. The brothers expand their horizons and explore new worlds while engaging in a series of magic-themed challenges and competitions. Along the way, they meet up with one of their famous friends, who then take on the role of tour guide. The cast includes the twin’s Harry Potter co-stars Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright, and Luke Youngblood, as well as Maisie Williams, Sophie Skelton, and Haley Joel Osment.
Airing on Tuesday nights, the pair of episodes from the first season of Fantastic Friends averaged a 0.03 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 160,000 viewers in the live+same day ratings (including DVR playback through 3:00 AM). It’s the network’s lowest-rated show compared to the other summer shows.
The first season has already been released in Canada, New Zealand, and other overseas locales. The CW’s new management has decided to focus on keeping costs down by airing inexpensive and acquired programming.
Since the network doesn’t own its shows, ratings and ad revenue are very important to the bottom line. As a result, the execs apparently aren’t shy about pulling shows that aren’t measuring up. The CW has also pulled acquired shows Down To Earth with Zac Efron and Barons this summer. The latter series’ final episodes were released online, and it seems likely that the remaining first-season installments of Fantastic Friends will end up there too.
For the immediate future, reruns of Whose Line Is It Anyway? will fill the Mondays at 9 PM timeslot.
What do you think? Have you enjoyed the Fantastic Friends TV series? Are you disappointed that The CW has dropped the show?