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Boston-set ‘SMILF’ canceled by Showtime after two seasons

Frankie Shaw stars as a South Boston single mom in “SMILF,” which has been canceled by Showtime.Mark Schafer/Showtime

“SMILF,” the Boston-set Showtime dramedy about a single mom from Southie, has been canceled after two seasons, the network confirmed Friday night.

“After weighing a variety of factors, Showtime has decided that SMILF will not move forward for a third season,” read a statement from Showtime.

The statement continued, “The remainder of the second season will continue to air as scheduled on Showtime through its series finale on March 31. We remain extremely proud of the two seasons of SMILF, and thank Frankie Shaw for her singular voice and unique creation, as well as the dozens of writers, producers, actors, directors and crew members both in Los Angeles and on location in Boston, who contributed to this exceptional series.”


The cancellation followed a December story in The Hollywood Reporter that portrayed a production “plagued by allegations of abusive behavior and violations of industry rules.”

Shaw, the show’s creator and star who grew up in Brookline and South Boston, was contrite in the aftermath of the allegations, promising to “do better.” She attributed some of the issues raised in the story to her own inexperience managing the cast and crew of a TV series even as she shouldered the lead role.

“I’m learning more and more about management and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to learn these lessons so early in my career,” she said in an e-mail to the Globe. “I’m going to continue to do everything I can to ensure the entire team feels seen and heard.”

The Hollywood Reporter detailed complaints about the way Shaw managed actress Samara Weaving’s nude and sex scenes for the show. Citing “several sources,” it also said there were complaints that “writers of color were put in different rooms from Caucasian writers and felt that their ideas were exploited without pay or credit.”


In the wake of the allegations, ABC Studios, which produced the show with Showtime, launched an investigation.

In a Friday e-mail, an ABC Studios spokesperson said that “Frankie Shaw’s overall deal with ABC Studios has been suspended without pay while we review our options.”

Shaw seemed to allude to the show’s cancellation in a Friday Instagram post.

Meredith Goldstein and Sean Smyth of Globe staff contributed to this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.