the main characters of gargoyles

How OJ Simpson Was Kind of Responsible for ‘Gargoyles’ Being Canceled

Most ’90s kids have great memories of afternoons spent watching Gargoyles. It’s a show that defined us but it was taken away as abruptly as it began. The why of that situation gets a little complicated but weirdly, you can blame O.J. Simpson for the series getting canceled.

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Creator Greg Weisman did an interview with Polygon a few years back and in it confirmed the plans for the future of Gargoyles. More importantly, he clarified how Simpson was kind of responsible for the cancellation of the series. Gargoyles began in October 1994. The Simpson trial would begin January of the next year. The network was asking for more episodes of the show but Gargoyles was constantly being preempted by the trial, meaning a lot was working against my beloved Goliath.

“The OJ Simpson trial meant we were constantly being preempted for trial coverage, because we were on syndicated stations, and syndicated stations still primarily lived off local news in the 1990s. Every day it ran, we were being preempted, and in any given city, people were missing episodes of Gargoyles, and falling out of the habit of watching it,” Weisman said at the time. That could not describe little me, who watched Gargoyles religiously, but it does make sense.

Weisman also went on to explain how Mighty Morphin Power Rangers coming to the U.S. also worked against them after the trial delayed their episodes. “Power Rangers was the big news and the home run. Our toys fell off. So there wasn’t much thought of doing a season 3. The viewership was fractured. It sounds bizarre that OJ Simpson helped destroy Gargoyles, but it’s true.”

I will happily blame O.J. Simpson for ruining my childhood fave

I grew up in a household that loved cartoons. We watched X-Men: The Animated Series and Spider-Man but Gargoyles was my thing. Maybe it was because my little mind was in love with Goliath and didn’t know it but I loved the show very much. When it was suddenly gone, I had questions. But I did not expect this answer.

Sorry, I did not know what was happening with a white Bronco as a child nor did I care about a trial. What I cared about was Elisa and Goliath smooching and being in love. Instead, all the adults were ruining that. You guys worry about kids now; imagine growing up in the ’90s and caring about a cartoon that no one seemed to prioritize! That was hard!

Sure, in theory, Simpson is not directly to blame for the cancelation of Gargoyles. It was a number of things, including the invention of the 24-hour news cycle—that led to my beloved show only having 3 seasons in total. But in a round about way, he was the reason no one was watching the show (minus me, I’m innocent) and why another show could swoop in and take the attention of kids away.

For better or for worse, Simpson did change the ’90s and where Gargoyles is concerned, it was for the much worse.

(featured image: Disney+)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.