Here's Why Hallmark's Good Witch May Have Been Canceled After Season 7

Set in the idyllic fictional town of Middleton and starring Catherine Bell as Cassie Nightingale, Hallmark's original series "Good Witch" is about as comforting as TV gets. Focusing on the bonds that Cassie and her daughter Grace (played by Bailee Madison) create with their neighbors and friends — and some touches of magic that make the show oh-so-enchanting — "Good Witch" allows viewers to escape into a charming, entertaining, and, as is the Hallmark promise, family-friendly world.

The series first premiered in February 2015 as an extension of the Hallmark TV movies of the same name, the first of which aired back in 2008 (per Good Housekeeping). Bell is notable not only for her beloved representation as the "good witch" at the heart of the series, but also for her role in co-producing the show (per Deadline). As far as ratings go, "Good Witch" did pretty well, especially before the last few seasons. In 2017, the show was second in line for the most-watched scripted show on cable (per The New York Times).

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and such is the case with "Good Witch." In July 2021, Hallmark announced that the seventh season of the show would be its last. Though "Good Witch" undeniably had a long run, the sudden ending of the show shocked and saddened viewers. Even now, many are still wondering why, exactly, the fan-favorite show was canceled — so we did some digging.

Good Witch ended unexpectedly

In July 2021, Hallmark announced the decision to end "Good Witch" after seven seasons and several "Good Witch" movies. The cancellation announcement was vague, with Hallmark SVP Randy Pope stating, "'Good Witch' has enchanted viewers for over a decade with eight original movies, in addition to the seven-season series. We thank our leads ... Catherine Bell, who has brought the inimitable Cassie Nightingale to life for 13 years, and James Denton, who as Dr. Sam Radford has added so much charm and humor to the series. We also extend our gratitude and thanks to the entire cast and crew for their dedication and hard work" (via Hallmark).

This was a shocking move as the show was incredibly popular and had garnered a loyal fanbase. In fact, in 2017, "Good Witch" was so popular that it ranked in the number-two spot (behind "Breaking Bad" spinoff "Better Call Saul") for four weeks straight, according to The New York Times.

Understandably, people who loved the show were pretty upset with its abrupt ending, with some claiming the season finale added insult to injury by being rushed. One fan on Reddit said, "Nobody seems happy with the written ending of the series. Hallmark has a great, popular, long-running series, and they mishandled it at the end." Another Redditor agreed in a reply, saying the show was one they "watched to be in a happy mood. ... Only thing which was ruined was the rushed ending, which made no sense."

Hallmark never released an official reason for the show's cancellation

Though the network released an announcement thanking the cast and crew of the show, there was never an official reason given for its cancellation. One may speculate that the show was never really given proper credit from the start; after all, despite its high ratings, it never received critical acclaim or widespread media attention like other shows with similar ratings did, according to The New York Times.

However, there were some small indications that the show was ending, according to Liz Heersink. She is the owner of the gray house that acts as Cassie's home and shop in the show. Heersink said (via The Spectator), "I was told they were shooting two endings. 'Okay,' I thought, 'that's the end of the show.'"

Heersink's inkling that the show was ending was, in fact, correct. Hallmark spokesperson Maria Fischer told The Spectator that while Hallmark was proud of the show, "Good Witch" had simply reached its "natural conclusion after a remarkable 13-year run." While it may be true that the series had reached an organic finale, some believe that there may be more behind the cancellation.

Ratings for Good Witch dropped

Though Hallmark has not said it outright, it is likely that a drop in ratings is a large part of why the series was canceled. According to Good Housekeeping, "Good Witch" went from an average of 2.2 million viewers for Season 1 to 1.5 million in Season 7 — meaning the show lost nearly half its original viewers over the years, which is a pretty significant change.

This drop in ratings comes as a surprise, because back in 2019, the show was one of Hallmark's most popular series, and Season 5 consistently brought in about 2 million viewers every week (per TV Series Finale).

So what happened? A drop in ratings isn't always a cause for cancellation, but paired with changes in storylines, characters moving on, and what some IMDb reviewers considered subpar writing as the series went on, it's possible that the show was fizzling out in more areas than one.

Morale may have been low among the cast

It's understandable that dropping ratings would affect the cast of "Good Witch" — after all, showing up to work on a show that seems to be losing steam would be more than a little demoralizing. As ratings dropped in the last season, it appears that viewers also noticed a change in the "Good Witch" actors' performances (per Showbiz CheatSheet).

On Reddit, one fan of the show wrote, "Thank goodness [it is ending because] the show is just drifting this season, and all the actors seem to be just phoning it in." Another Redditor agreed with that statement, replying, "I think the cast and crew knew ratings were slipping, and it hurt morale, because the show just hasn't had the spirit and charm it's previously had." Another person on Reddit wrote in response to the series ending, "I'm sad to hear it, as it's a fantastic 'comfort' show, but this season has felt a little rushed and lackluster in comparison to previous seasons."

Whether the on-screen performances were a little less motivated or inspired in the final seasons due to lower viewership or other, unknown reasons, it's easy to see how a disheartened cast could cause the network to bring the series to a close.

Cast members were moving on

One of the worst things that can happen when it comes to TV show changes is that your favorite character decides to leave. And for "Good Witch" fans who loved Cassie Nightingale's daughter, Grace Russell (played by Bailee Madison), this was precisely the case.

In the "Good Witch" Season 5 finale, Grace graduates high school and leaves Middleton to attend college, and her character is then written off the show. While this may have been disappointing for fans of Grace and her storyline, for Bailee Madison, leaving "Good Witch" was simply the end of one chapter in life and the beginning of another. 

"So grateful for five amazing seasons with 'Good Witch,'" Madison wrote on her Instagram. "They say that life is like a beautiful book, and everyone's story is unique to them. As one chapter ends, a new one begins which is even more exciting and unexpected than the previous one. ... I couldn't be more grateful for the new adventures ahead."

Though it's clear Madison made the choice that was right for her to leave the show, this left many viewers feeling like the series was now "missing" something. It's possible that Grace leaving the show left a hole in the cast that added another reason to cancel the show altogether. Even Catherine Bell struggled with Madison's departure from the show, telling "Entertainment Tonight," "My dream is that she gets to come back for a couple of episodes."

New shows may take the place of Good Witch

While "Good Witch" does have some light, magical elements and some romance, it is overall a very clean and family-friendly show. It is also very straight and very white — though this changed a bit in later seasons, when LGBTQ+ character Zoey Taylor, who is also Black, was introduced to the story. Zoey even begins a relationship with Joy Harper, and the two characters bring a bit of inclusivity into the show. They also made Hallmark history by being the first LGBTQ+ couple to kiss on a Hallmark Channel original series (per TV Line).

In this same vein, Hallmark's CEO Wonya Lucas said in 2021 she intends to continue to add much-needed representation to Hallmark storylines (per The Hollywood Reporter). "We can say we're inclusive because of representation, but what storylines work for people? ... What are the stories we need to tell to go deeper than just seeing themselves? That's the first step. That is the opportunity I see. That's the depth part. We are multilayered people," Lucas said. "Leaning into who we are — expressing different types of love, overcoming adversity — is a key theme in our lives."

We're all for more inclusive and diverse Hallmark content, but it's worth noting that the network moving in a more progressive direction could have been part of why "Good Witch" — which was not a particularly diverse or inclusive show — was canceled.

The stars of Good Witch were sad to see the series end

Many people were sad to see the end of "Good Witch," cast members included. On her Instagram, Catherine Bell (who plays the beloved star of the show, Cassie Nightingale) reflected on her time on the project. "I am so grateful for seven seasons ... and 13 years (of movies) of being a part of 'Good Witch,' working with the kindest and most talented cast and crew, producers, network! It has always felt like family," she wrote.

James Denton, the Hallmark actor who plays Dr. Sam Radford on "Good Witch," also expressed sadness at the show's ending. "It would be unseemly to complain about your show being canceled after seven seasons, and I won't," he told Deadline. "I've been very fortunate to have been on other long-running series, but 'Good Witch' was special."

He added that he's grateful not only to have been a part of the show, but also for the fans, cast, and crew. "The fans were so devoted to the show, and I'm disappointed for them, but I hope they know how much the actors appreciated their vocal support," he said. "The cast was the nicest collection of wildly talented people I've ever been around. The producers treated us extremely well." Denton added that he is "happy to still have two movies to make with the network so I'm not saying goodbye to the Hallmark audience yet."

Fans were disappointed in the Good Witch finale

It was bad enough that the show was canceled so unexpectedly, but many fans were also disappointed in how the series itself ended. A lot happens in the last episode, including a rejected marriage proposal, a not-quite-marriage-proposal-but-kind-of-proposal, a wedding, a main character moving away — and, of course, Hallmark's historic first-time LGBTQ+ kiss between Joy and Zoey.

Despite all the different exciting events happening between the characters, many viewers were let down by the show's finale.

"Just finished the series and the last episode was rushed and blah," one viewer said on Reddit. Others were confused by the writing throughout Season 7 and especially the last few episodes, writing, "It felt like, in terms of pacing and story building, they were all over the place. Almost like they had different groups of writers take over every three to four episodes. ... I have no idea why they made these choices beyond bad writing" (via Reddit). Another Redditor agreed, replying, "Yeah, I feel like [the writers] just did not care at this point. It felt like they were going through the motions."

But there's a chance Good Witch might come back

For people who aren't ready to let go of this cozy fantasy/comedy/drama, we have good news! You may not have to. Although there is nothing firmly in the works in the "Good Witch" universe, it's not out of the realm of possibility. According to "Good Witch" main character James Denton (aka Dr. Sam Radford), there may be more "Good Witch" in the future, perhaps in the form of a movie or a revamp of the series.

"I think there's a chance," Denton said (via TV Insider). "I know [with] the popularity of the show and the circumstances under which it ended sort of abruptly that it would not surprise me if we revisit it. ... I think the odds are decent just because I know the network respects the franchise. It ran for 14 years between the movies and the series. So I think there's a decent chance, but I had to say in the same breath there is nothing in the immediate works."

Although it's only a possibility now, we think another "Good Witch" movie would be a great way to give fans a peek into the lives of the main characters after the show's end, and it could be a chance at redemption for those who were disappointed in the way that the series ended. We can only hope!