Nancy Drew spinoff Tom Swift gets canceled at The CW

But CBS Studios is planning to shop the mystery drama elsewhere

Tian Richards as Tom Swift in The CW's Tom Swift

Tom Swift is not returning for a second season.

The CW canceled the Nancy Drew spinoff last week after airing only five episodes. Despite the cancellation, the rest of the show’s freshman run is still expected to air on the network.

Why was Tom Swift canceled?

According to Deadline, The CW execs liked the spinoff creatively, but the mystery drama’s poor rating performance left them with no choice but to pull the plug on the series. Tom Swift is reportedly among the network’s least-watched series on streaming as well as on linear, with only 535,000 viewers in Live+7.

The show’s cancellation may have also been due to the nearing completion of Nexstar Media Group’s pursuit of majority control of The CW. Nexstar is expected to take a 75% stake in the broadcast network, with The CW’s current partners Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery nabbing 12.5% each. Tom Swift stars Tian Richards as network TV’s first gay Black lead ― something that may be an issue for Nextstar’s rumored plan of creating a more “wholesome” lineup of programs.

Despite the cancellation, Deadline reported that series producer CBS Studios is trying to extend the options on the cast, which expired last week, and plans to shop the series elsewhere.

What is Tom Swift about?

Based on the teen inventor from the 1910 book Tom Swift and His Motor Cycle by Victor Appleton, The CW’s Tom Swift reimagines the titular character (Richards) as a gay Black genius billionaire playboy, described as devilishly charming with unlimited resources and unimaginable wealth who many men would kill to be, or be with.

But Tom’s world gets shaken to its core after the shocking disappearance of his father, thrusting him into a breathtaking adventure full of mysterious conspiracies and unexplained phenomena. On his whirlwind quest to unravel the truth, Tom finds himself fighting to stay one step ahead of an Illuminati-scale cabal hellbent on stopping him.

Tom Swift cast

Tom Swift, which features a predominantly Black cast, started off as an unconventional backdoor pilot, with only Richards’ character getting an introduction in May 2021’s Nancy Drew season 2, episode 15. The rest of the characters were cast after the project was picked up to series in August.

In addition to Richards, Tom Swift also stars Ashleigh Murray as Tom’s best friend, Zenzi; Marquise Vilsón as Tom’s bodyguard, Isaac; and LeVar Burton as the voice of Tom’s AI, Barclay. Also starring in the series is April Parker Jones as Tom’s mother, Lorraine; and Albert Mwangi as the mysterious and dangerous Rowan who intersects Tom’s path with hidden motivations and undeniable mutual chemistry.

Tom Swift release date

Tom Swift premiered on May 31st, just one day before Pride month and just 19 days before Juneteenth. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Richards talked about how the timing of the show’s freshman run couldn’t be more meaningful.

“The show is so many different intersections and we get to talk about the queer experience, what it’s like to actually exist and not just to be entering that space by way of coming out or coming to terms with ourselves,” Richards said last month. “And for it to be Juneteenth this month and with just how much Black excellence is highlighted in the show, and that it shows us freely in all spaces and fully, I love that the most.”

The remaining episodes of the show’s freshman run is still expected to air every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

Tom Swift trailer

Interested in watching Tom Swift despite its cancellation? You can check out the trailer for the series below:

Tom Swift | Who | Season Trailer | The CW
Sources: Deadline, Entertainment Weekly
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