Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

FlashForward canceled

by Rob - May 18th, 2010.
Filed under: FlashForward.

FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name, has been canceled. The final two episodes will air May 20 and May 27, 2010.

At 22 episodes, FlashForward is now the longest-running science-fiction series ever based on a novel by a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America; the previous record-holder was 1970’s The Immortal (15 hour-long episodes plus 90-minute pilot film), based on James Gunn’s novel The Immortals, also on ABC.

I’m very proud of the series, and am thrilled that our pilot episode, “No More Good Days,” is a current Hugo Award finalist. I had a blast working as Consultant on the show, enjoyed writing the 19th episode (“Course Correction”), was treated wonderfully every time I went to Los Angeles, and was thrilled to have a cameo in the pilot.

I made many friends among the writers, producers, cast, and crew; got into the Writers Guild of America based on my work on the series; made a lot of money; and had a blast.

I’ll never forget this past year, and I thank everyone involved — but especially Jessika Borsiczky, Brannon Braga, David S. Goyer, and Vince Gerardis — for making it possible. It was a wonderful ride.

Robert J. Sawyer online:

43 Responses to FlashForward canceled

  1. It has been an honor to watch, read, and discuss the storylines. My true hope is that FlashForward becomes a cult classic!

    What a FlashTastic story!

  2. The best sci-fi book I have read in years. A true original story not “far” from a possible reality as per the ABC TV series.

    Thank you Rob!

  3. […] Flashforward has been canceled.  I’ll miss it.  Robert Sawyer writes about it. Heroes, apparently also canceled.  Not missing it so […]

  4. It is sad to hear this Rob, but it has also been my understanding that if a show (SF) is too intelligent it is harder to keep going within a population now driven by light, quick fix media.

    It is sad, but there is, as you say, great pride to be had – you, sir, have been able to live the dream of all authors and in the process you had great fun.

    Yes, the money was good, but really, no amount of money could replace that kind of experience, could it?

    I wonder what else will come from you? Calculating God, in my mind, would make some outstanding movie material…

    All the best my friend


  5. Sad. I love the book and they did a great job of stretching it into a television series.

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the entire season and hope to savor these last two installments.

    And you definitely wrote one of the best episodes!

  6. I’ve watched all the episodes aired so far. Personally, I thought the show came back stronger after its hiatus. The writing was stronger, the plots intertwined better, etc. There were a few unbelievable moments (I can’t really believe a woman would so abruptly change her mind and cheat on her husband).

    Overall, I think it was the casting that destroyed this one. They made a few poor choices in key areas. I, for one, never could relate to Agent Benford.

  7. I’m glad this has all been such a positive experience for you — so often book adaptations turn out terribly and take the material in directions the author abhors, don’t consult with the author, etc., and so while it’s a shame the series won’t continue it’s great that the whole thing has been such a blast for you and a boost for your already strong career.

  8. Can we presume that the entire series will hit DVD in a timely manner?

  9. Hi, Jonathan. The full series will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in North America in August, I’m told.

  10. Myself and my whole family, wife, son (11), daughter (14), were all utterly devastated by the cancellation. Ironically enough I was reading the last few chapters of the novel when my son told me of the cancellation. I thought the show was outstanding. I never never never watch any primetime drama, never saw any Lost, no Heroes, no Greys Anatomy, etc. But I was drawn in by the promo for FlashForward and subsequently never missed an episode. I am so sad it will not be continuing. Alas I will go back to reading quality Sci-Fi and watching auto-racing on the tube. RJS, I love your work. Keep it up.
    A fan, Jon Kroll. Ann Arbor Michigan

  11. Thanks for the reply, Rob. By the way, I hope you enjoy your visit to Winnipeg. I will sadly be out of province, so won’t be able to attend, but I hope all goes well. I already have my copy of Watch, another great cover.

  12. Is there any chance of publishing the show’s bible? I’d love to see what was planned for the overall arc.

  13. Hi, John. I doubt they’ll want to release that, but who knows? It’s up to the showrunners. :)

  14. Katya Oliva-Llego

    Oh, this is so sad. My husband and I have watched every episode. When I first learned that Flash Forward was based on an SF novel, I grabbed a copy, read it, and enjoyed it tremendously. I have read six of your novels since then.

  15. Too bad about the show … it had potential to do so much. But as you say — and you always have a positive outlook — it had a good run.

    I look forward to the next Sawyer-based TV series.

    – Ed

  16. Was sorry to hear about this. This was one my most highly anticipated series and it hasn’t failed to deliver. I hope the last minute decision wasn’t too big of an obstacle to making the finale not overly open ended.

  17. I think the really sad fact is that one full season is the longest an adapted SF show’s lasted.

    I really think there needs to be a small network funded anthology type show like Twilight Zone. Get the best of the best to write a plot each, have dedicated show writers to hammer them into scripts, then produce it with a set of players instead of an entirely guest cast. Done right I think it would fly.

  18. Its disappointing the series was cancelled, but I guesss that’s business. I see that 22 episodes in total will be shown. Was that all that was planned for the series? If not were the others shot and be available on the DVD?



  19. Sorry to hear of the cancellation Rob. I have enjoyed the show and especially enjoyed all your updates and cool stuff that happened in Hollywood. I look forward to your next…
    Stay inspired!

  20. Roberto Manzocco

    Hi Robert,
    I’m a big fan of your novels, and I red almost all of them (at least the ones published in Italy), so I was disappointed when ABC cancelled Flashforward (these folks are going to regret that, as they did with Twin Peaks). So I was thinking: how about writing a novel based on the show and its whole Bible (or at least its main subplots)? For “The 4400” it worked just fine,

  21. Okay I have answered my own question (or rather Rob did) here:

  22. I just can’t believe they’ve cancelled such a great show!!! I mean they are about to set it up for the next series by announcing when the next flashforward will happen only to cut it short. Still, was great while it lasted… although I think you should persuade them to continue

  23. Robert:

    Sorry to hear about Flashforward. It sounds like you had a blast doing it and I am certain it was an amazing experience.

    P.S. Look what happened to Firefly! For that matter – look what happened as a result of the original Star Trek series which didn’t last very long!!

  24. I hate to see this show get cancelled, it had me from the beginning, I am so tired of “dumb” shows that don’t require you to delve into the possiblilities of the story lines and all of the “what if’s”. Shows now just ask you to watch a bunch of people willingly showing themselves in the worst possible light, and called “entertainment”, oh I’m sorry the buzz word is “reality t.v.”. My co-workers and I would discuss that night’s episode the next day without fail. I have participated in the Neilsen ratings twice now, and wish I was participating in the survey while this show was running, I would have made double sure my t.v. was set to watch Flash Forward every week to give it the rating it truly deserves. I hope this will just be the case where all the good shows go off the air because it’s summertime, and networks figure veiwership goes down until the fall, and all then the good shows come back.

  25. I’m Devistated! I LOVE the show. You have the fan base, if ABC doesn’t want it, sell to another network!!!!!!

  26. Everyone!!!! If you like FlashForward and want to keep it on the air, sign the petition below!!! I will send it to ABC when there are enough signatures!!!

  27. Fuck!! Why the fuck you cancelled? It was my most very favourite tv serie….I hate policy of rating, you have no idea how addictive this serie was? are you gonna pay my rehab?

  28. porque coños la cancelan?? que mierdas se creen? osea wey me la pasaba todos los jueves esperando a ver esta serie y por su culito se atreven a quitarla asi sin mas ni mas? pues que caracoños se creen? jamas volvere a ver nada de la abc, NADA….(a menos que reanuden FF)

  29. Gordan Stosic-CROATIA

    Please Ron, dont kill flashforward, PLEASE!!!!

  30. Gordan Stosic-CROATIA

    Sorry, i think ROB

  31. Gordan Stosic-CROATIA

    CROATIAN FANS support you for continue fighting to transfer to another network please dont give up

  32. The show is great and could have been even better if it was given a chance,i.e. a second season to at least have a proper end. It got me to read the book wich is a great piece of sci-fi. My compliments to you for your work. It was an honor and a priviledge to read your book and to watch what was IMO the best TV show made in recent times. If only network executives showed the viewers the respect they deserve.

  33. I thought the show was brilliant, I guess it was too complicated to attract a large audience.

    But hey who knows, Firefly had, two seasons, I think and they still got a movie. I’m hoping for a movie.

    I thought the finale was terrific, and Course Correction answered a few questions that I had.

    My mom didn’t like the finale too much because she wanted Mark to get back with Olivia, I do too, I tried to explain that relationship to her from a writer’s point of view, lol.

  34. donovan s. brain

    Rob, you have a LOT of fans, and I suspect that FF would do pretty well for the Siffy channel or even HBO. Someone’s missing a few brain cells if it doesn’t get picked up by another network. Oh well, at least it drew a lot of new readers to your work.

  35. Rob, Sad to hear this. I’ve been watching religiously all season, and have been thoroughly entertained by the show. It certainly exceeded all my expectations, and it even got my wife hooked(who “hates” sf)! I had been anticipating it since it was announced on your site, and am glad for having experienced such a great show.

    We just watched the finale on the PVR last night, and were arguing back and forth with each scene: are they setting up another season? are they ending it here? does that mean season 2? does this mean it’s over?

    Sad to hear it’s been cancelled, but enjoyed it every week while it lasted.

  36. Thanks, everyone, for the very kind words. Last I heard, the DVDs and Blu-ray should be out in August; all 22 episodes filmed have now aired in the US and Canada (there are no unaired episodes).

    It truly was one of the great experiences of my life.

  37. Did you hear that there are demonstrations all over the world being organized for 6/10 to protest the cancellation? Did you know that the fans created 20,000 bracelets like the one Olivia gives to Benford to ABC in hopes they (or another station) will renew for a second season? Please visit and friend this page….it will give some hope to the truly grassroots organizations that are helping to make your characters live on….

    In addition, there are multiple petitions like this one:

    And several Twitter pages devoted to saving it. Please if you have a moment and could come onto one of these, you might like to see the legions of fans you’ve created and could inspire by saying hi.

    Thank you.

  38. Gordan Stosic-CROATIA

    Yeah, we must fight for our rights!!

  39. For the DVDs,

    Unfortunately, people who bought the first set will have to pay again for the first few episodes, as the second set contains the complete series.

  40. Robert Morane, the sad truth is the original 10-episode set sold poorly — so the only hope of making a splash with the series on DVD is with an entire-series set. This, of course, has been FLASHFORWARD’s problem: a great show, with not enough of an audience.

    FLASHFORWARD comes out on DVD on August 31, 2010.

  41. Rob,

    I really enjoyed Flashforward and was sad to see it get cancelled. But, I am thankful the show introduced me to your writings. Since I started watching the show, I have read Flashforward, The Neanderthal Parallax, Calculating God, Factoring Humanity, Mindscan, and have just started Rollback. I love them all! Please continue writing!


  42. I saw the last episode last week on cable. I just couldn’t believe it was being cancelled. After the first episodes I read the book, and remembered why I used to love scifi so much. Have you considered following the story? Please please do so. At least one fan, from Chile, will read it avidly.

  43. If the show can’t continue at least can they make it into an ABC movie. This project that you have started has to have an ending for my curiasety to rest.
    I became addictive to the show from the firtst episode. Now i want to see wath happens next. I know theres a Novel but theres no music on novels, wich makes it more interesting. Please make it into a movie.

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