'Counterpart' Canceled at Starz

Counterpart S01E10 Still 2 - Publicity - H 2018
Nicole Wilder/Starz

Counterpart is dead at Starz.

Creator Justin Marks announced Monday on his verified Twitter account that the premium cable network has opted to cancel the drama starring J.K. Simmons after two seasons. The news comes ahead of Sunday's season two finale, which will now serve as a series finale should another outlet not pick up the Media Rights Capital-produced drama.

"It's been an absolute dream for this team … we got to make exactly the show we wanted to … perfect cast, perfect crew on two continents … and we're so grateful to our network for the time we had," Marks wrote. "Thank you to everyone who made this journey so special for us. Your tweets, podcasts and intricate conspiracy theories have made it all worthwhile. Fingers crossed that our wonderful studio, MRC, can find a way to keep the dream alive!"

Picked up straight to series with a two-season order, the options on the cast expired last year but earned a brief extension to Feb. 1 as the cabler waited to see MRC could find a new home for the series elsewhere. The cancellation arrives as Starz CEO Chris Albrecht is exiting the cabler as Lionsgate leadership takes an increased role in the network.

While a critical breakout with a cult following, the series was unable to connect with a larger audience, generating an average of under 500,000 total viewers with three days of delayed viewing. As Starz continues to double down on Lionsgate-produced content now that the latter is the cabler's parent company, Counterpart's status as a show from an outside studio with a pricey licensing fee and cast likely contributed to the cancellation. 

"Justin, Jordan, J.K. and the entire cast and crew delivered a beautifully executed series. It was a pleasure working with this team on two seasons of expert storytelling brought to life by best-in-class performances across the board,” said Carmi Zlotnik, president of programming at Starz. 

Starz's scripted slate includes Outlander, Power, Vida, Sweetbitter, American Gods and the upcoming The Rook, The Spanish Princess, Now Apocalypse, P-Valley, Hightown and Dublin Murders.

Valence Media, the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, also owns Media Rights Capital.