'Mind Games' Canceled: Is Christian Slater Cursed?

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·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
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Christian Slater can't seem to catch a break.

The actor saw the cancellation of his fourth straight series in the last six years when ABC axed "Mind Games" this week after just five episodes.

The drama, which co-starred Steve Zahn as his brother and fellow psychological manipulation expert, debuted to a weak 3.6 million viewers and a low 1.1 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 adult demographic. Its last episode was watched by just 2.1 million viewers.

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Slater has been trying to make it on network television since 2008, when he made the jump from film to NBC's "My Own Worst Enemy." The drama about a secret agent who doesn't even realize he is one got a ton of promotion from the network, but ended up being canceled after nine episodes.

Then there was 2009's "The Forgotten," which truly lived up to its name. Two years later, Slater tried the comedy route with Fox's "Breaking In," which actually received a second season (though just 20 episodes total).

The cancellation of "Mind Games" is also a blow for creator Kyle Killen, whose previous two shows, "Lone Star" and "Awake," were also canned.

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But even so, Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University's television and pop culture studies, doesn't think Slater is cursed. "There is nothing about him or his acting that makes him uniquely unsuitable for a television series — quite the contrary, in fact," Thompson told Yahoo TV.

"The odds of any series succeeding are low — Slater just hasn't been able to beat those odds."

Zack Stentz, a writer on "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" as well as films such as "Thor," told Yahoo TV that "improper marketing" or lack of executive support is often more to blame for a show's demise.

"Show cancellation isn't a virus, and it can't be transmitted person to person!"

So, fifth time’s the charm for Slater, maybe?