A Fan-Favorite Drama Was Just Canceled

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Monarch, the Susan Sarandon-starring family drama set in the world of country music, has been canceled by Fox after just one season. Created by Melissa London Hilfers, the series was the first production by Fox Entertainment Studios and was intentionally designed for a shorter run of 11 episodes. After being pushed back due to pandemic-related safety concerns, the series premiered on September 11, 2022.

The series opened with a decent showing, scoring 0.8 among adults aged between 18 and 49 in Live+Same Day ratings, Deadline reports. It also attracted 3.8 million viewers with its premiere, becoming the most-watched fall scripted debut for Fox in three years. But Monarch struggled over its subsequent 10 episodes, which contributed to the series being canceled.

monarch canceled

The news is disappointing since Fox positioned the show as its big bet for the fall season. It was the only new series on the schedule, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But it didn’t maintain the audience it apparently needed to justify a renewal. Monarch averaged 4.1 million viewers across all platforms and a weak 0.3 rating in the key sales demographic, before being canceled.

Monarch, the now-canceled series, followed the fictional first family of country music led by Dottie Roman, who dies in the series premiere. During the season, her husband Albie attempts to keep the family business afloat with the help of their children who are hiding their own secrets. That’s when Nicky Roman, the couple’s eldest daughter, does all she can to protect the dynasty’s reign in country music while ensuring her own stardom.

Sadly, the compelling storyline wasn’t enough to save Monarch from being canceled. The series starred Anna Friel as Nicky Roman, Dottie and Albie’s daughter who struggles to live up to her family’s legacy. Trace Adkins stars as Albie Roman, the family patriarch, and legendary singer-songwriter. Joshua Sasse appears as Luke Roman, Dottie and Albie’s son and the CEO of Monarch Records. Beth Ditto is featured as Gigi Taylor-Roman, the couple’s younger daughter who shunned the spotlight.

Susan Sarandon appears as the Queen of Country Music, Dottie Cantrell Roman. Iñigo Pascual, Meagan Holder, Eva Amurri, Emma Milani, Martha Higareda, Taegan Burns, Gavin Bedell, and Elena Murray also star. And Mandy Barnett provides the incredible singing voice for Dottie Roman throughout Monarch, but that wasn’t enough to keep viewers interested or prevent the show from being canceled.

Along with stellar performances from its main cast, music was a massive part of the series. The show included covers of new and old songs like Lizzo’s “Juice,” Faith Hill’s “Breathe,” LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live,” Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph,” and Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar.” The final episode of Monarch featured a performance of “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson which was a fitting choice for the canceled show.

Following the series debut, music supervisor Amanda Krieg Thomas gushed about the soundtrack. Speaking to Variety, she said Monarch showcases a great mix of songs. “There are classics to rediscover, current hits, and artists that you may have never heard of, but will add to your playlist after the show,” she told the publication. Although the show was set in Texas, she promised to never exclude a great song because the artist isn’t a native. “But we tried to find opportunities for local emerging artists from wherever we could,” she added. Despite the soundtrack, Monarch was ultimately canceled.