ABC Cancels Members Only Without Airing A Single Episode

In what has become unusually common this year, ABC has announced that its proposed drama series Members Only has been cancelled before a single episode airs. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news earlier today. The series, originally titled The Club, was to have marked Oscar-winning director David O. Russell’s first foray into television, but he dropped out of the project soon after ABC picked it up straight to series with a 13-episode order. John Stamos and Betsy Brandt were attached to star. Here’s ABC’s summary of the series from when it was still called The Club:

Welcome to THE CLUB… it is Connecticut’s most exclusive with stunning vistas, rolling fairways, impeccable courts. Money and connections will get you in, but the beautiful people and their scandals will keep you coming back. At its center of things are the descendants of THE CLUB’s founding family: the powerful and wealthy Holbrooke family. Flawless blond Mickey is the queen bee and a force to be reckoned with. This tightly wound tennis champ is never far from a glass of wine or anti-anxiety pills. Her father is 79-year-old Winston Holbrooke III. The old man has still ‘got it,’ but that didn’t stop his trophy wife from leaving him – for his eldest son, Win. Before the two ran off together, Win left the finances of the club in the hands of a Wall Street scammer. Now, the club is millions in debt and may not survive. Mickey’s husband Randy is considered a pushy jerk, but is keeping the place afloat with lots of cash. The SEC is after him and agents want Mickey to testify against Randy. She wants to be loyal to her husband, at least in these matters, but something is making her doubt his loyalty to her. The members at the club have their alliances, rivalries, and affairs on and off the courts and fairways. And sometimes they cross the lines with the people who indulge their every desire. Towel boy, Jesse, is the target of Mickey and Randy’s gold card carrying 17-year-old triplets who make bets on who can seduce him first. They aren’t the only ones lusting after him. And pursuing Ana, who also works at the club, is Mickey’s 23 year-old brother, Forty, just back from rehab. Definitely against the employee rules, like accepting tips. Ana’s mother and head of staff, Hilda, wouldn’t hesitate to fire her own daughter if she finds out. But she’s cleaned up lots of dirty laundry in this place… and we’re not talking towels. A decadent and seductive drama from Oscar nominee Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich, Ever After, Party of Five).

According to Deadline, only the first episode of Members Only was completed before ABC decided not to move forward with the series. It’s not technically a pilot — the whole point of going straight-to-series is to bypass the pilot stage, after all — but ABC definitely treated it like a pilot.

Members Only is only the latest planned series to get the axe without a single episode making it to the air. Last month, NBC cancelled sitcom Mission Control; it had a six-episode order. Back in August, NBC yanked a planned 10-episode limited series called Emerald City. In July, FOX cancelled its event series Hieroglyph, which had a 13-episode order.


2 Comments

  • “Members Only” sounds dreadful. The fact that the description couldn’t be condensed to a one- or two-sentence elevator pitch may be significant. And then the “Connecticut is full of rich country club members” is a worn out stereotype.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    WHO was this series supposed to appeal to? “Upscale yuppies” that buy most of the “big ticket” items advertisers “pitch” on most prime-time series these days? I can’t imagine an “average” viewer watching this…..any more than they watched “SELFIE” or “MANHATTAN LOVE STORY”.

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