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The premium cable network has opted to cancel the horror drama based on the ongoing comic series from the Walking Dead creator after two seasons. The options on the cast, including star Patrick Fugit, expired long ago and the project was considered a pricey original for Cinemax, which has shifted its larger programming strategy. The network on Tuesday confirmed the news in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: “There are no further plans for Outcast at this time.”
The exorcism drama was developed for TV before the comic book series launched and landed at Cinemax following a multiple-network bidding war. The pay cabler showed early confidence in the series and renewed it for a second season three months ahead of its June 2016 premiere. Never a ratings or critical breakout — THR‘s Daniel Fienberg said Outcast was “nothing to levitate over” — Cinemax didn’t air the second season of the series until two years after the freshman run wrapped. (In a rare move, international markets aired season two before its debut in the U.S.) Season two wrapped its 10-episode run Sept. 28 with 108,000 same-day viewers. Despite offering the series on HBO Go and other platforms, season two did not grow from its freshman run.
Further complicating matters, Outcast was produced by Fox International Studios — a division that no longer exists. (Its former head, Sharon Tal Yguado, helped launch The Walking Dead day-and-date internationally and now works with Kirkman at Amazon, where he is under an overall deal.)
Starring Fugit as a man plagued by possession, Outcast was also a victim of a change of programming at Cinemax. The premium cable network shirted its strategy late last year as a destination for action-packed programming with originals including the revived and rebooted Strike Back, C.B. Strike and more. Outcast was considered a larger financial swing for Cinemax, which has been focusing on co-productions of late.
Chris Black served as showrunner on Outcast and executive produced alongside Circle of Confusion’s David Alpert, Yguado and Sue Naegle.
For his part, Kirkman’s scripted TV roster currently includes AMC’s The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead and Amazon’s upcoming animated take on his recently concluded comic Invincible.
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