Why Is Bob Hearts Abishola Ending?

By Jennifer McDonough Posted:
Bob Hearts Abishola

Fans of Bob Hearts Abishola are surely wondering about the true nature of the show’s recently-announced end.

Bob Hearts Abishola has been running on CBS since 2019. The series, which stars Billy Gardell and Folake Olowofoyeku as the titular couple, has seen moderate success over the course of its four seasons.

But, in November 2023, the network made the announcement that Bob Hearts Abishola’s upcoming Season 5 would be its last. Not only that, but most of its supporting cast would be departing the show or reduced to recurring appearances.

Why Was Bob Hearts Abishola Cancelled?

Bob Hearts Abishola

So why is Bob Hearts Abishola coming to a close after Season 5 on CBS? According to its creator and executive producer, the prolific Chuck Lorre, it wasn’t the creative team that made the decision.

Speaking as a guest on The Hollywood Reporter’s TV Top 5 podcast (via CinemaBlend), Lorre lamented Bob Hearts Abishola’s cancellation, making it clear that there were “so many more stories to tell:”

“I think there's so many more stories to tell. The initial motivation for that [show] was a romance wrapped around a story of immigrants who make America great — that extraordinary, courageous effort that is made by millions of people every year to find their way in this country. I don’t necessarily feel like we were done, but that was not my call.”

Ultimately, it looks as though Bob Hearts Abishola’s demise likely comes as a result of budgetary concerns coupled with unsatisfactory ratings. This is pretty standard practice in the entertainment business.

Bob Hearts Abishola’s Season 5 Cast Departures Explained

Even before the Bob Hearts Abishola was axed, several changes to its cast were made by way of jettisoning most of the series regulars from their full-time roles and shifting them to a recurring capacity. 

This was done as a cost-cutting measure and only Billy Gardell and Folake Olowofoyeku now remain out of the original 13-strong ensemble (via Deadline). The remaining players were granted a five-episode guarantee.

Co-creator Gina Yashere spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the massive cast exodus, noting that they still tried to use the time they still had with the actors to incorporate them into the story in meaningful ways, instead of simply “crowbarring” them in:

“The industry is in flux right now. The money that was there 10 years ago is not here anymore. We made sure when we work with the characters, rather than just crowbarring them into an episode, we concentrate the stories by using a character and building a story around them. We make them the center of episode. We use everyone properly. It made us kind of concentrate more on every character. It was both positive and negative.”

According to series producer Matt Ross in an interview with Deadline, efforts were made to wrap up the show’s ongoing storylines but not in a conclusive, definitive fashion for the characters. The team didn’t want to “complete their lives:”

“I think you treat characters like real people. You don’t complete their lives, you don’t try to tie a bow,” he said. “You get little windows into these moments. there could be 50 more stories to tell. it’s not our job to say ‘Bon voyage, they are done learning’ and they are done being interesting.”

Season 5 of Bob Hearts Abishola premiered on Monday, February 12. The next new episode will air on Monday, February 19 at  8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

- About The Author: Jennifer McDonough
Jennifer McDonough has been a writer at The Direct since its 2020 launch. She is responsible for the creation of news articles and features. She also has a particular affinity for action figures and merchandise, which she revels in discussing in the articles she writes, when the situation calls for it.