ABC Cancels Queens And Promised Land After One Season Each

Two critically acclaimed ABC dramas, "Queens" and "Promised Land," are on the chopping block after seeing their ratings slip in their first season. Both shows hold a 100% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and were still north of a million viewers per episode, but the network has opted not to renew them.

Created by Zahir McGhee, "Queens" debuted to much fanfare last October, thanks in part to the appeal of its cast. The show featured Eve J. Cooper and Brandy Norwood, who achieved fame as the mononymous hip-hop and R&B stars Eve and Brandy in the 1990s. In "Queens," they starred with Naturi Naughton (of the real-life girl group 3LW) and Nadine Velazquez as members of a fictional music group called Nasty Bitches, which also topped the charts and made them the queens of hip-hop in the '90s. When the show begins, the characters are now older and have been out of the music game for a long time, but the chance to reunite and perform at the BET Awards brings them back together.

According to Deadline, "Queens" premiered with over 1.75 million viewers, but it struggled to maintain a hold over its time slot, with other shows consistently beating it in the ratings on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Eve took a maternity leave from the show, but after the season 1 finale in February of this year, Brandy sounded very open to a return, saying:

"I know I would love to see more performances, more rapping, and more stage stuff if there is a season 2. We didn't really get a chance to do a lot of the stage performances that I wanted to do this year. I hope we get to tell more great stories and have a lot more entertainment in terms of the group. Fingers crossed."

ABC was not the Promised Land for these two shows

Created by Matt Lopez, "Promised Land" featured an ensemble cast led by John Ortiz and was billed as "an epic, generation-spanning drama about a Latinx family vying for wealth and power in California's Sonoma Valley." The official trailer for the show almost made it seem like "Succession" or "Empire" for wine country.

"Promised Land" premiered in January 2022 and wrapped up its first season in March. Despite earning slightly higher ratings than "Queens" even — with a premiere that brought in 1.89 viewers (via Showbuzz Daily) — "Promised Land" was, per Deadline, "ABC's least watched and lowest-rated scripted series this season." That made its renewal unlikely, despite positive reviews.

Given that "Promised Land" maintained steadier ratings through the first half of the season, it makes it more understandable why "Queens" — which dropped to just over a million viewers for its finale — would not be renewed, either.

The trailer for "Queens" featured characters talking about second chances and taking on the world, and there's always a chance that it and "Promised Land" could be shopped around and find a second life somewhere else in the streaming world. We've seen that happen with other cancelled shows that had a loud and passionate fanbase, but it remains to be seen whether that's really the case for either of these shows.

For now, at least, "Queens" and "Promised Land" have had their day in the sun on ABC. The first season of both shows is currently streaming on Hulu and DirecTV.