Tom Swift has now joined the growing list of CW shows to abruptly receive the boot in recent weeks due to one reason or the other. For the Nancy Drew spin-off, the decision to cancel was due to low ratings. Unfortunately for the fans of the eponymous gay Black billionaire, this is where the journey ends for their favorite protagonist. On a brighter note, fans will get the chance to see a bit more of Tom as the remainder of the season will continue to air on the network before the curtains finally come down on the show on July 19 when the season finale will air.
While execs at CW were sold on the creativity and the idea behind the sci-fi mystery show, Tom Swift ultimately failed in its intended mission to woo the 18-49 demographic, receiving a woeful 0.1 rating, making it one of the least-watched shows on the network. Not more than 535K viewers were recorded in Live+7 and on streaming, the case was no better. Tom Swift‘s low rating is a far cry from the glowing reception of its parent show, Nancy Drew which continues to record an average viewership of 1 million per season and a fair 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The show has been airing swiftly for 3 seasons and counting with a fourth season already green-lighted by CW.
Tom Swift got an unusual backdoor pilot when its lead character was introduced in Season 2 of Nancy Drew as a charming gay Black billionaire inventor. A spin-off series was immediately ordered to follow Tom with Tian Richards returning to reprise the lead role which saw him make history by becoming the first Black gay lead character on network TV, and as such expectations were high on what was in store.
During production, Tom Swift was lauded for featuring a predominately Black cast that would include Ashleigh Murray, April Parker Jones, Marquise Vilson, Christopher B. Duncan, and Star Trek: The Next Generation alum, LeVar Burton. The series follows Tom enjoying the coveted lifestyle of a billionaire but suddenly his world comes undone after the mysterious disappearance of his father. He decides to put his genius to use by launching an investigation into the cause of his father’s disappearance, but the answers don’t come easy as his findings lead him into a strange new world rife with conspiracies and dark mysteries.
Tom Swift premiered on Pride Month on May 31st and aired just 6 episodes before CW pulled the plug. All hope is not lost though as Deadline revealed that CBS Studios (behind the show’s production) has plans to move the show to a different network or maybe a streaming platform (hello Netflix?). However, fan interest would be taken into consideration in the decision-making process, so over to you Drew-verse loyalists. Tom Swift shared the same executive producers as Nancy Drew, they are – Melinda Hsu Taylor, Noga Landau, and Cameron Johnson.