|Image Source: Celebeat|
Just days after its Autumn slate kicked off with the return of The Flash, iZombie, Arrow and other hit series, The CW confirmed yesterday that their popular fantasy drama Beauty and the Beast will not return for any further runs after its fourth season airs in the United States.
The show, which stars Smallville's Kristen Kreuk in the eponymous role of Catherine Chandler (don't ask why the name 'Belle' wouldn't have worked just as well) along with Neighbours' Jay Ryan as her at times psychologically unhinged wooer Vincent Keller, depicts the aforementioned fairytale characters in a modern-day setting as Chandler haphazardly attempts to balance her work in the New York Police Department (NYPD) with her ongoing efforts to protect Keller's bestial secrets from being discovered.
No doubt the above premise reeks too much of Twilight for some, yet in fairness, based on the 1.78 and 1.24 million viewers amassed by its first and second seasons respectively, Beauty definitely appears to have worked its magic over on The CW regardless, hence why its axing just eight months after the US network commissioned a fourth string of 13 episodes for broadcast in 2016 will most likely have come as quite the shock to those who have stepped aboard the series' bandwagon since its 2013 première. On the other hand, when pitted against The Flash Season One's 3.84 million average, these figures admittedly don't seem quite so remarkable, so perhaps like Firefly and In the Flesh, the show's production team will have to rest safe in the knowledge that their creation acquired quite the cult following in its short-lived lifespan, even if said fandom wasn't enough to indefinitely prolong its inevitable demise.
Every cloud has a silver lining, though, and in this case it's that the soon-to-be deceased drama's writing team have at least been afforded the necessary time to concoct a satisfying series finale in learning of Beauty's cancellation well ahead of its final season's broadcast. Too often these kinds of announcements are made so late in the day that execs and head writers have to hurriedly huddle together to concoct a rushed denouement for their abruptly terminated pet projects, so at the very least, it's a welcome departure from the norm to see The CW make such a wholehearted effort to offer the cast and crew alike the best opportunity at providing both themselves and their hardly insubstantial audience with some form of closure as opposed to a half-hearted conclusion which forever leaves a bitter taste on the tongue. The end may well be approaching, then, but to quote Tom Baker's incarnation of Doctor Who, the moment has (thankfully) been prepared for.
Better yet, the moment's a way off yet; before taking its final bow, Beauty and the Beast will return to The CW (as well as on Freeview channel Watch here in the UK, unless they suddenly lose the rights at the last moment) for its climactic fourth season in Summer 2016.