It's that time of year again when the fate of dozens of network TV shows is decided, they'll be some surprises over the next couple of weeks, but this isn't one of them. NBC's Taken TV series can be officially added to the canceled list after just two seasons of CIA shenanigans.

The small screen prequel to the hit Liam Neeson movies stars Clive Standen as the fresher-faced Bryan Mills as he starts working for the CIA and acquires those famed set of skills that made him a nightmare for people who kidnap his daughter, in thirty years.

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While nobody was crying out for a TV series based on Taken, the first season delivered a modest viewership and NBC ordered a longer sixteen episode second season. Keen to transform this minor hit into something bigger, NBC made some significant changes to the cast (axing six regulars) and added a new showrunner in the form of Person of Interest's Greg Plageman.  

Sadly, the shift to a more procedural format didn't have the desired effect, in fact, it had the complete opposite effect.  The launch of the second season back in January was the least watched episode so far, and it hasn't improved much with the subsequent ten installments. The first season averaged around five million viewers an episode (across all platforms), the revamped second run has managed to shed over half its audience with an avenger of just two and a half million. On that basis, it's surprising that NBC didn't pull the plug sooner.

Produced by Luc Besson's EuroCorpTV, Taken isn't the first attempt to turn one of their hit movies into a TV show. Before Ed Skerin replaced Jason Statham in Transporter Refuelded, Chris Vance (Supergirl) took over as Frank Martin for the short-lived Transporter series. François Berléand reprised his role as Inspector Tarconi from the movies, but the series was axed after two seasons. After four movies (there's a fifth one now) and a US remake, the Taxi franchise got a Brooklyn set spin-off and was swiftly canceled after twelve episodes.

NBC will broadcast the remaining five episodes starting from May 26, UK fans can catch it on Amazon Prime.

Written by
Chris Suffield

Head writer at My passion for storytelling has been at the heart of all my work.

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