There will be no more “what if…?” scenarios for Ordinary Joe: NBC has canceled the James Wolk-starring drama after just one seasonour sister site Deadline reports.
Averaging 3.3 million total viewers and a 0.5 demo rating (in Live+7 numbers), it ranked last in both measures among the 10 NBC dramas has aired this TV season.
The series explored the three parallel lives of the show’s main character, Joe (Wolk), after he made a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. In one timeline, Joe met up with Amy (Natalie Martinez) after their college graduation and the two went on to get married as he became a rock star. In another reality, Joe and his best friend Jenny (Elizabeth Lail) were husband and wife, and he worked as a nurse to support their son’s medical needs. In the third “what if?” Joe became a cop and reconnected with Amy as an adult.
In the Jan. 24 finale, which now doubles as the series ender, all three of the Joes found themselves at a romantic crossroads. After totaling his car and nearly dying, Music Joe entered rehab, but he didn’t stay there for very long. At the end of the finale, he came to Jenny’s door and told her that he wants to live… with her. Meanwhile, Cop Joe impulsively proposed to Amy after she announced that she was moving to Miami to run her mom’s campaign, and Nurse Joe surprised Jenny in Atlanta, where he asked her to renew their vows. Little did he know that Barrett also made a big proposal to Jenny: to stay in Atlanta and start a firm with him.
In a post mortem Q&A, co-showrunner Russel Friend told TVLine that Music Joe “really hit rock bottom” and was “not in a very good place” when he went to Jenny.
“He believes, in that moment, that it’s the right thing, that maybe Jenny could be the solution to all his problems and this panacea, [like], ‘If I chose her, everything would’ve been better,’” Friend said. “Our take on it is he’s authentic and passionate and genuine about this choice, and he does believe he loves Jenny, and he should’ve done this. But is he really in the right frame of mind to make those big life decisions is the bigger question. We love that cliffhanger aspect of that, and where could that go?”
Meanwhile, Amy and Cop Joe would have had their own romantic dilemma following his impromptu proposal. “Maybe they move to Miami? Maybe they have a long-distance thing?” Friend posited, adding that he hoped the cliffhanger “galvanizes the audience to want to see more.”
Friend was also hopeful that the show’s streaming performance on Peacock and Hulu would help it secure a second season.
TVLine’s Broadcast Renewal Scorecard has been updated with the news. Hit the comments with your reactions!