ABC axes “Time After Time” after five episodes

Here’s an observation: A running loop of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time music video would’ve drawn more viewers than the science fiction drama of the same name did.

ABC announced Wednesday the cancellation of Time After Time after five episodes. The Sunday night sci-fi drama averaged just 2.2 million viewers and a 0.5 rating in the key adults 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen.

The number is equal to the season averages of FX’s Legion and The CW’s Riverdale. But both series have been renewed by their respective networks for their second season. And more importantly, didn’t have to face the powerful The Walking Dead machine – something Time After Time did.

Notably in the last two seasons, networks have punted on “cancelling” shows, instead putting underperforming series on “hiatus”, or “pulling them off the schedule.” For example, ABC never announced the cancellation of The Muppets, instead letting the ill-fated series fade away. NBC canceled Deal Or No Deal in 2009, but also never made an announcement.

But Time After Time’s abrupt cancellation certainly caught everyone off guard and certainly came out of left field.

The cancellation is effective immediately; ABC plans to fill the vacant slot with Match Game at least for the next three weeks.

Time After Time received mixed reviews, earning a 59 score on Metacritic.

The show’s premise: H.G. Wells (who wrote The Time Machine) time travels to modern-day Manhattan to catch Jack The Ripper, based on the novel and movie of the same name. So H.G. Wells is now a fictional character in a TV show? Makes sense to me!

And you wonder why the Cyndi Lauper Time After Time video is more entertaining.