TCA 2014: Cancellations are first for new network
The new Pivot network is ending two shows, Meghan McCain's “Raising McCain” and the acclaimed docu-series “Jersey Strong.”
The cancellations are the first for Participant Media's network, which debuted last year and skews toward millenials.
Pivot announced at the Television Critics Association that McCain will join the nightly news and discussion show “Take Part Live.” But Pivot chief Evan Shapiro disclosed to TheWrap that that will mean the end of McCain's own series, which took a first-person approach to examining issues like feminism and online privacy.
Shapiro said McCain would move to “Take Part” because she's at her best when reacting to the news. Her premiere episode on privacy, for example, was taped before the Edward Snowden story broke, but aired after. “Take Part” will allow her to respond to breaking news in real time.
“The major motivation here wasn't we don't want to bring back ‘Raising McCain,'” he said. “It was, how do we get Meghan to react to things in real time, as they're happening, in 2014?”
“Jersey Strong” profiled two Newark women who previously appeared on Sundance's “Brick City,” one a defense attorney and one a reformed gang member trying to keep girls out of gangs. (TheWrap's review said it “plays like a progressive fantasy — but it’s as real as real gets.”)
“We felt we told a complete story, and we thought that in order to keep doing seasons we were going to have to fall into the trap of reality television, which is scripted manipulation in order to make it dramatic,” he said.
The endings come at the same time as a big beginning for Pivot: Joseph Gordon-Levitt's “HITRECORD” premieres Jan. 18, but has already been viewed 500,000 times online, and been renewed for a second season.