It was one of the most anticipated dramas of the 2016-17 season but Pitch — a Fox drama about the first woman to play in Major League Baseball — couldn’t survive the annual bloodbath before the television upfronts. The series was canceled after it finished its inaugural season with a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.67 million viewers. EW asked executive producer Kevin Falls to look back at the show’s short journey, and whether fans might get a proper goodbye.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: In retrospect, would you have done anything differently?
KEVIN FALLS: Rename Pitch something like, It’s Not Just a Baseball Show. Creatively, we like what did. Sure, there may have been a storyline or two we might have excised or done differently. But people who watched Pitch seemed to like the show a lot. Maybe not airing in the fall or against Thursday night football might have helped. Originally, it was going to be a midseason show.
Was the romance a bad idea?
You mean the near-kiss and the chemistry between Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury) and Mike Lawson (Mark-Paul Gosselaar?)? No. Or were you not aware of #Bawson? Our plan was to take the Ginny-Mike awkwardness into the next season, but restore the mentor-mentee relationship.
Did Major League Baseball try to argue on your behalf to keep the show?
I know executives liked the show and said as much to Fox. But I can’t say whether Commissioner Rob Manfred picked up the phone and said bring the show back. It is unfortunate that a sport that needs to expand and diversify its audience will lose access to what was an audience of five or six million people each week (once all the metrics were in) and for pennies on the dollar. I hope it ends up on the MLB channel someday. I would put it up there with some of the best baseball movies ever made. In fact, I’d call it the “best ever longest baseball movie” ever made.
What are you most proud of?
No one has ever done a TV show like this depicting a real professional major sport. We delivered the production value, authenticity that MLB demanded and told stories that were accessible to people who loved baseball and to those who didn’t. It took an amazing production team, great writers, and of course, the best most underrated ensemble of actors on TV last fall. It’s a shame we won’t be able to do more. We were all extremely proud of it. It was too good to only last 10 episodes.
Are you able to tape any sort to epilogue?
That’s come up recently. We didn’t shoot an alternative ending to our season, that’s how confident we were that we were coming back. When Dan Fogelman gets back from directing his movie, Rick Singer and I will huddle with him and talk about it. But it has to make creative sense, not to mention whether Fox would ever pay for it and whether the actors would agree to do it. This would be unprecedented, which immediately makes it a long shot.
What’s next for you?
I’m going to build a time machine, convince Fox to move Pitch to midseason 2017 and then go back to 2007 and convince NBC to un-cancel the time travel show, Journeyman.