The CW's latest series has now officially met its end. On Thursday, it was announced that the network has cancelled Tom Swift, its adaptation of the long-running book series of the same name, less than a month after the series' May 31st premiere. Only five episodes of the show, which originated as a spinoff of the network's Nancy Drew series, have aired thus far. According to reports, The CW executives reportedly liked Tom Swift from a creative standpoint, but were unhappy with the show's ratings, as it averaged only 535K viewers in Live+7, as well as on streaming. CBS Studios is hoping to extend the options of its series cast, and potentially shop the series to other networks or platforms.
Tom Swift marks the latest in a surprising string of shows cancelled by The CW this season, including DC entries Naomi, Batwoman, and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as In the Dark, the Vampire Diaries spinoff Legacies, and the network's reboots of Charmed, Dynasty, 4400, and Roswell, New Mexico. This news comes amid recent reports indicating that majority share in The CW could be sold to Nexstar Media Group, raising questions about how the network's programming could pivot towards a potential older demographic.
Tom Swift follows the serialized adventures of its titular character (Tian Richards), an exceptionally brilliant inventor with unlimited resources and unimaginable wealth who is thrust into a world of sci-fi conspiracy and unexplained phenomena after the shocking disappearance of his father. Tom takes to the road on a quest to unravel the truth, leaving behind the comforts of his usual moneyed lifestyle while fighting to stay one step ahead of an Illuminati-scale group that's hellbent on stopping him. The series stars Ashleigh Murray (Riverdale, Katy Keene) as Tom's best friend Zenzi, Marquise Vilsón (The Kitchen, Blindspot) as Tom's bodyguard Isaac, and April Parker Jones (Supergirl, Bel-Air) as Tom's mom Lorraine.
The Tom Swift series is written and executive produced by Nancy Drew showrunner Melina Hsu Taylor and co-creator Noga Landau, who co-created the series with Empire's Cameron Johnson. The project also hails from Nancy Drew producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.
"They're such different shows. Nancy Drew is about a bunch of kids in a small town in Maine, solving ghost stories in a crab shack. And this show is about billionaires and people who build rocket ships and go to space," Landau said during a recent press conference for the show. "So, they're so different but I think what links them together is how earnest they are and funny. And at their core, they're kind of about similar issues of claiming your own identity and growing up and figuring out who you are in relation to your family and your parents and the secrets you carry with you. It's there. There's similarities for sure but they're definitely their own things at this point."
The Tom Swift book series first began to be published in 1910, and encompasses more than 100 volumes. The books have been translated into many languages and have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. There have been multiple attempts to adapt Tom Swift into live-action, with the only successful adaptation being a 1983 television special, The Tom Swift and Linda Craig Mystery Hour.
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Tom Swift airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.