Prodigal Son: Lou Diamond Phillips Thinks Fox Cancellation Was a Serious 'Mistake'

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Prodigal Son was canceled almost a year ago, leaving fans perplexed because the show was creatively at the top of its game.

Lou Diamond Phillips, who played Gil Arroyo on the thriller, is opening up about his shock when the cancellation was announced.

The star was certain a third season would be commissioned.

Finding Martin - tall - Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 11

“One hundred percent, I thought it was the call to say, ‘Hey, buddy, we’re going back to work in July,’” he shared to TV Line.

“I had every reason, as did the cast and crew, to believe that this was going to be the case.”

“Ultimately, when [Fox] approved a cliffhanger at the end of Season 2, I thought there was no question. You don’t do that if you’re going to pull the plug,” Lou added.

“You say, ‘Hey, guys, wrap it up.’ You usually get an indication about which way things are going, so this came out of the blue like a thunderbolt."

Gil's Doubts - Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 13

"And literally, as they were closing the doors to the airplane, Chris said, ‘Bro, they cancelled us.’ And I was like, ‘You’re joking, right? You’re kidding.’ It was stunning.”

The star admitted he was "stung" by the cancellation.

“I’m not denigrating any other shows, but there’s so much that’s run-of-the-mill and safe and middle-of-the-road on television,” he shared.

“For Prodigal Son to be as unique and different and exciting [as it was], and to have that cast — I just really feel as if this was a mistake.”

Gil's Hot Ride - tall  - Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 10

The rest of the cast was shocked by the decision to end the show, with many of them reacting via social media in May 2021.

“What a trip. Playing Malcolm has been a joy and a privilege. The best cast on network TV and the most unique show around," Tom Payne wrote on Twitter before teasing the final episodes.

"We did it in style. Love to everyone who enjoyed it all along with us. And check out the last two eps! THEY ARE AMAZING."

“Just wanted to pop on & say THANK YOU, wonderful #Prodigies, for sharing this adventure with us," Bellamy Young said.

Malcolm Walks Alone - tall  - Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 10

"I am, as you can imagine, heartbroken that we can’t keep telling this story. We’re gonna go out in STYLE tho- these last 2 eps are Fire. Love each of you. So much.”

There was a push to move the show to HBO Max, but a deal could not be reached.

Lou has since returned to FOX with a role on The Cleaning Lady.

What are your thoughts on the cancellation?

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Prodigal Son Quotes

 No one is born broken. Someone breaks us.


Malcolm, Malcolm, listen to me. I want you to remember something, OK? You're my son, and I love you. I will always love you because we're the same.