Behind the Scenes Drama: Marcia Gay Harden on So Help Me Todd's Cancellation

Behind the Scenes Drama: Marcia Gay Harden on So Help Me Todd's Cancellation
Image credit: CBS

For Paramount and CBS, things don't seem to be going well.


  • In April 2024, it was announced that So Help Me Todd would be canceled.
  • Marcia Gay Harden cited Paramount's sale as a possible reason.
  • CBS needs to have an attractive schedule for potential buyers.

Last year's WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes shook the entire entertainment industry as many movies and TV shows were delayed or canceled altogether, whether they were well-received or not. And even now, the film and television markets have not fully recuperated, as indicated by distorted programming schedules, shortened or halved seasons of scripted series, and last-minute cancellations.

Of particular note is the situation with CBS. After last year's drought in new scripted series, viewer demand for shows old and new is as strong as ever, leading to the renewal of popular projects and the announcement of many new ones. As Paramount Global, its parent company, teeters on the brink of a sale, the network, known for its procedurals and dramas, has canceled several of its relatively popular shows.

So, CBS really hurt So Help Me Todd fans by announcing in April 2024 that the beloved show would be canceled after two seasons. But what was the reason? Series star Marcia Gay Harden weighs in.

So Help Me Todd Star on Why the Show Was Canceled

The legal comedy-drama So Help Me Todd revolves around Todd (Skylar Astin), a private investigator employed by his mother Margaret's (Marcia Gay Harden) Portland law firm. Mother and son approach their professions quite differently: Margaret, a practicing attorney, adheres strictly to the law, while Todd is ready to put the law aside for the sake of investigation.

Behind the Scenes Drama: Marcia Gay Harden on So Help Me Todd's Cancellation - image 1

The show debuted in September 2022 and has since garnered less than stellar, albeit solid, viewing numbers. Sure, it was never the network's most popular show, but audiences still tuned in to see what would happen in future seasons. Naturally, no one expected the show to be canceled.

As with any cancellation, there are many factors at play. As such, series star Marcia Gay Harden, who played Margaret, noted that she didn't know the exact reasons, but believes it's possible that the decision to cancel So Help Me Todd was influenced by Paramount's acquisition process. Her speculations, as expressed in an interview with Us Weekly, can be read below:

'Paramount is being bought by somebody. We don't know who and so CBS had numbers to reach and whatever the mystery goes behind it, why they chose our show to go rather than another one, we don't know.'

Unfortunately, the ratings were not high enough to consider the show a hit, and that may have been one of the reasons it was canceled. In addition to So Help Me Todd, another victim of cancellation was NCIS: Hawai'i.

A Busy Schedule and the Sale of Paramount

Plus, CBS has so many shows up for renewal or getting ready to premiere that So Help Me Todd simply couldn't fit into the jam-packed primetime schedule in the fall of 2024. The presidents of CBS Entertainment Group, George Cheeks and Amy Reisenbach, said that it was 'incumbent to keep the schedule fresh and keep the momentum going'.

Unfortunately, both So Help Me Todd and NCIS: Hawai'i had to be dropped in favor of a strong and cohesive slate. The reason, as Marcia Gay Harden pointed out, is that Paramount Global is in the process of being sold.

CBS must not only maintain high ratings at low cost to attract potential buyers, but also bid on new IPs such as The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon spinoff Georgie & Mandy's First Marriage. While the show may not seem like a potential moneymaker, the network likely sees projects with hypothetical potential as more attractive than those that have consistently had moderate ratings from the start.

You can currently stream both seasons of So Help Me Todd on Paramount+.

Source: Us Weekly, Deadline.