Undercovers canceled (and wait'll you hear what we may never see)

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Dec 14, 2012

NBC has canceled J.J. Abrams' spy-fi series Undercovers, and while production on the show's 13-episode order will likely be completed, you may not get a chance to see how the show's mythology ends, said co-creator and executive producer Josh Reims.

With seven episodes of Undercovers having aired, plans are to air the next three episodes and then leave the final three in the can with the possibility they may run at some unknown point in the future, according to The Hollywood Reporter.com. That likely means either never or buried on a Saturday night months from now.

That's bad news for fans, especially since Reims told me in an exclusive interview a couple weeks ago that the mythology was being beefed up and would really kick in at the end of the 13-episode order.

"The main direction that we're headed in the overall scheme of things is we have some mythology that's starting to play out in the show now which will get larger and larger as we go along," said Reims. "And we find out in episode 12 or 13, I can't remember which, the real reason that Steven and Samantha were actually brought back to the CIA. And it's not just to save Leo, who was their friend. There's much more involved in that."

Since it was announced last week that episode 13 would be called "The Reason," I'm guessing that was to be the the big episode.

"There's stuff that Carlton Shaw [Gerald McRaney] doesn't know. He was left out of the loop by his boss. So everybody is sort of thrown for a loop near the end of the season and readjusting to what things are, as opposed to what they thought they were," says Reims.

This also isn't a good thing for Lost's Alan Dale, who joined the cast in a recurring role beginning in episode 11 as Shaw's boss, James Kelvin.

And we'll miss a cool guest stint by Dollhouse's Harry Lennix, who plays Steven's brother in an episode where the team heads to a Croatian casino to deal with counterfeiting. "We get to meet Steven's brother ... who we haven't really heard about. He's also an agent, and they get to be in the field together, sort of work out their issues that they have with each other," said Reims.

"Then we're doing the big hostage episode where Samantha has to use her medical skills to sneak in as a doctor to try and stop the situation," he said. Medical skills? Yes, the ones we find out about in next week's "Crashed."

As for what's coming up that you will get a chance to see in the next three airings, unless NBC mixes up the episode order ... there's next week's Chechnya episode, "Crashed," which involves the Blooms getting captured and Hoyt (Ben Schwartz) getting shot. Then after that there's another Leo-in-trouble episode called "Leo's Lost Night," that Reims said is a big departure. "It's basically a hangover episode for Leo [Carter MacIntyre], which is where he can't remember the last 24 hours and Steven and Samantha have to go to Mexico and help him figure out what he has been doing for the last 24 hours. So that's really sort of a Leo-centric episode."

NBC plans to keep the show, which stars Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Steven and Samantha Bloom, on Wednesdays at 8 p.m., with the final episode in the fall run airing on Dec. 1.

Undercovers has been falling in the ratings since the series premiered this fall, and last night's series low drew only 5.8 million total viewers and a 1.3 rating in 18-49 adults.

Despite the falling ratings, Reims was hopeful during our conversation in mid-October. "I keep saying to the writers ... we just have to do what we can do, which is try and make a good show. And then, if people watch, they watch." Unfortunately, they didn't.

Here's a preview of next week's "Crashed."

Are you bummed or not about the cancellation of Undercovers?

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