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The Real Reason Scorpion Was Canceled

When Scorpion premiered in September 2014 on CBS, the series about a lovable group of crime-solving geniuses became a surprise hit for the network. The show stood out in a crowded field of procedurals by putting engineers, hackers, mathematicians, and even a brilliant little boy at the center of the action. Unfortunately, after four seasons, CBS axed the series — and to make matters worse, it ended on a cliffhanger. To this day, fans remain haunted by the cancellation of Scorpion, but there's no nefarious secret behind the show's untimely demise.

As is often the case with network shows, failing ratings led to Scorpion's end. The warm-hearted crime series became CBS' most watched drama in its debut season, according to The Wrap. At the time, Kelly Kahl, CBS Primetime executive vice president, compared the show to the network's comedy juggernaut The Big Bang Theory. "We really looked at it as kind of an extension of The Big Bang Theory, but in the drama world," Kahl said.

Viewers seemed to agree — at least at first. While Scorpion quickly found a passionate fanbase, not everyone stuck around to watch the team take on new cases each week. By the time the season 4 finale aired, Deadline reported it was among the least watched CBS shows on air during the 2017-2018 TV season. The decline in viewership wasn't a commentary on the quality of Scorpion, so much as it was an indication of the network's ongoing issues with getting people to watch their Monday night lineup of scripted fare. At the time, Elementary and Code Black were struggling, too.

The Scorpion cast didn't seem shocked by the show's cancellation

By the time CBS officially canceled Scorpion, the cast seemed to have made their peace with the show coming to an early end. Shortly after the news was announced, Katherine McPhee, who starred as former waitress Paige, tweeted, "thank you so much to @CBS for this journey, to my awesome cast mates and crew whom I learned from every day and to all the wonderful @ScorpionCBS fans for being so passionate about what we created. we'll always be a family. #TeamScorpion."

McPhee's co-star Robert Patrick also tweeted about the news, adding, "Thank you to all the fans! The writers, the crew, the cast, and @CBS it's been a great story to tell and a hell of a run! On to the next! #loveya #TeamScorpion @ScorpionCBS." The rest of the cast had a similar response, suggesting that they knew Scorpion's fate was sealed, despite fans' attempts to mount last-minute renewal campaigns.

What's the Scorpion cast been up to since the series ended with season 4?

Since Scorpion ended with the team splitting in half, the cast has moved on to other projects. For her part, McPhee enjoyed a successful run in the Broadway musical Waitress. In October 2020, she announced she was prepping for a new kind of role: the actress was expecting her first child with husband David Foster. In February 2021, she gave birth to a son, Rennie.

Meanwhile, Elyes Gabel, who played Walter, has continued taking on challenging new roles in shows like Suspicion, while also doing voice work as Star Boy in Justice League vs. the Fatal Five. And as for veteran character actor Patrick, he's been keeping busy with movies and TV shows like Peacemaker and HBO's Perry Mason reboot

Nothing will ever take the sting out of Scorpion's ending for the show's passionate fanbase, but knowing that the cast is thriving should be a small comfort for fans still wishing for a season 5.