‘Mom’ Actress Allison Janney Reveals Her Theory on Why CBS Cancelled the Show

by Madison Miller
Photo by: Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

The popular CBS sitcom, “Mom,” which has been on for eight years, is not being renewed for a ninth season.

“Mom” first premiered in 2013 and starred Anna Faris, Allison Janney, Nate Corddry, Matt Jones, and Sadie Calvano.

The show is about an interesting mother and daughter dynamic (Faris and Janney). The two had been estranged for many years after they each were struggling with addiction issues. Together, they tackle sobriety and other issues by doing things like attending Alcohol Anonymous meetings.

The show receives praise for addressing very real issues. This includes alcoholism, drug addiction, teen pregnancy, homelessness, relapse, rape, domestic violence, and miscarriage. In fact, the show’s rating had once been consistently close to 11 million viewers. It is the third-highest rated comedy on broadcast TV.

Allison Janney also won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on the show.

With an interesting balance of humor and darkness, award-winning acting, and millions of viewers, what caused the show to be canceled?

Allison Janney Talks Cancellation of ‘Mom’

On “The Late Late Show” with James Corden, Janney said she anticipated that the series would go on for one more season. She was hoping the show would have more time so that the ending could have a lot of work and thought put into it. She said the cast found out sooner than they thought, meaning the network made the choice rather quickly.

Now, the writers are in the process of wrapping up eight years worth of content in the last few episodes of the final season.

“There are so many reasons behind it — most of them probably money. But I know that Chuck Lorre is writing the final episode, and we’re right now filming the third-to-last episode,” Janney said. Like many cancellations, Janney suspects money and ratings are the reason for pulling the plug.

She called the experience of the show “one of the great honors of my life” in an Instagram post.

Despite the show having a fairly long run, Janney and other cast members are facing the reality of leaving behind something very important to them.

“All of a sudden, it’s gone. And no matter how much I prepare myself for it, I know I’m going to be just tears, buckets of tears, because it’s just been so incredible. The amazing letters I get from people who are in the program or got sober with us. It’s been a great show to be a part of, and it’s so rare when you do something like that [where] it affects people in a positive way out in the world. It makes me sad, but onward,” Janney said.

Season eight was the first that did not feature Anna Faris. This may be part of the reason for the cancellation. According to TV Series Finale, “Mom” had dipped between four and five million viewers during this current season. The 18-49 demographic ratings have also dropped.

Importance of the Show

Allison Janney, as well as the show’s creators, have always talked about how important the messages present in “Mom” are.

Specifically, “Mom” helps paint an accurate picture of addiction, family, rehab, and relapse. The show features a large cast of strong women. Janney’s character, Bonnie, has kept the show alive for so long.

“She’s not aware of the depth of the things she says. It’s really fun to play someone that gets away with saying all of these awful things. People like to laugh at her because they know she has a big heart. It makes it a lot of fun to play her darker side. She’s a survivor, she’s scrappy and she’s done everything to make a buck, sometimes illegal things. There’s nothing she won’t stop at,” Janney said to The Hollywood Reporter.

Janney had also told HuffPost that she lost her brother to addiction. She said that when the show came to her she said, “I just want to do it for him.” She also wanted to help destigmatize recovery and addiction and help showcase what it’s like to be a survivor.