What we're losing with So Help Me Todd's abrupt cancellation

Skylar Astin and Marcia Gay Harden in So Help Me Todd
Skylar Astin and Marcia Gay Harden in So Help Me Todd (Image credit: Michael Courtney/CBS)

It was a shock to fans to find out that CBS cancelled So Help Me Todd just a few episodes into the second season. Based on the fact So Help Me Todd season 2 ended on such a cliffhanger it must have shocked the creators too, because they clearly intended for the story to continue.

Fans are rallying to save So Help Me Todd by convincing another network or a streaming service to pick it up. Hopefully the show will be saved, because what it brought to the TV landscape was more than just another one-hour weekly dramatic comedy.

So Help Me Todd is the type of classic TV show that audiences love because it gives them a true escape from the stresses and problems of everyday life. It's funny without trying too hard, it's serious without being too serious, it has quirky but relatable characters and at the core it was about family supporting each other through whatever life throws at them.

Ratings for the show were solid, with around four and a half million live viewers per episode. Fan reviews were pretty good too. Even though the show seemed like a long shot when it premiered, it quickly found a reliable fan base who returned week after week. 

The "case of the week" format in TV shows can get dull quickly, but the constant round of new supporting characters in So Help Me Todd kept it feeling fresh. And fans were invested in the family dynamic of the Wrights. They watched Todd work through his baggage and get his life together and they were cheering for Allison to do the same. 

The TV landscape has shrunk significantly in the past year for many reasons, and it seems like networks aren't taking the kinds of chances they were taking on new concept shows. But without taking chances the networks aren't going to find a new hit or expand any of the popular existing TV genres. We need shows like So Help Me Todd for several reasons:

It has an original concept in a familiar genre 

Legal shows are not new. Legal dramas, legal comedies, legal dramedies and every other variation of the law has been done before. But So Help Me Todd managed to bring something new to the legal procedural. Humanity. The core of this show is a loving family dynamic, no matter what crazy shenanigans they get into from week to week.

It has a great cast 

Inga Schlingmann, Marcia Gay Harden as Margaret Wright and Jeffrey Nordling in So Help Me Todd

Inga Schlingmann, Marcia Gay Harden as Margaret Wright and Jeffrey Nordling in So Help Me Todd (Image credit: Colin Bentley/CBS)

Marcia Gay Harden anchors the cast perfectly, while Skylar Astin is a great comedic foil for her. It's a real shame that fans barely got to know Heather Morris as Judy, because that character had the potential to be a real standout in an already great cast. Fans deserved the chance to see Judy and Todd become Seattle's greatest private investigation team. 

The show also had some fantastic guest stars dropping in to play supporting characters, like Sandra Bernhard, Lisa Rinna and Dean Winters. It's just not fair that fans won't get to see if Allison and Frank continue their race to rock bottom.

It has socially conscious stories 

The legal cases the firm took on have cultural relevance and allow for some very pointed cultural commentary without being too preachy or over the top. Educating people about social issues in a way that feels relatable using comedy and empathy is a lot more effective than other methods of trying to raise cultural awareness.

Representation matters 

So Help Me Todd is a standout in the crop of primetime shows because of the representation it has. The main character is an older woman, who is a named partner at a law firm. That's not something that happens often on primetime TV. Many of the main characters reflect the diversity of the modern world without making it seem like that kind of diversity is a rare thing. Representation matters, more than ever these days. 

A primetime show that has a diverse cast of characters that aren't stereotypes or caricatures and gives them stories that are authentic and not tropes shouldn't be considered groundbreaking in 2024. But it is, and we need that to continue.  

It's a wholesome escape 

Skylar Astin as Todd Wright and Heather Morris as Judy Maxon in So Help Me Todd

Skylar Astin and Heather Morris in So Help Me Todd (Image credit: CBS)

But the biggest reason fans need So Help Me Todd to continue is that it's a rare wholesome escape from an increasingly stressful world. If fans lose So Help Me Todd, they lose the chance to sit down and lose themselves in a quirky, clever, funny world for an hour each week. 

When fans sit down to watch So Help Me Todd they know that Margaret is going to wear something fabulous, Todd is going to save the day, Allison is going to have at least one great zinger and they will emerge from that hour feeling refreshed and positive. We need something positive we can count on. We need So Help Me Todd

You can watch all episodes of So Help Me Todd on Paramount Plus.

Sonya Iryna

Sonya has been writing professionally for more than a decade and has degrees in New Media and Philosophy. Her work has appeared in a diverse array of sites including ReGen, The Washington Post, Culturess, Undead Walking and Final Girl. As a lifelong nerd she loves sci-fi, fantasy and horror TV and movies, as well as cultural documentaries. She is particularly interested in representation of marginalized groups in nerd culture and writes reviews and analysis with an intersectional POV. Some of her favorite shows include Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Sandman.