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The NBCUniversal-backed streaming service has canceled the comedy series from showrunner Sierra Teller Ornelas and starring Ed Helms after a two-season run.
The cancellation arrives nearly three months after Peacock dropped all eight episodes of the show’s sophomore season. While Peacock does not release traditional viewership data, season two of the comedy starring Helms, Jana Schmieding and Michael Greyeyes has a rare 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. (Season one is also certified fresh with a 92 percent rating.)
Despite its status as a critical breakout and breakthrough for representation, sources say Peacock wasn’t keen on renewing the show after its freshman season because of a lack of viewership. Those same sources noted that producers Universal Television — Peacock’s studio sibling — offered and paid for all the costs of season two as it believed in the show and values its relationship with Schur. It’s also worth pointing out that the sophomore season featured two fewer episodes than its freshman run.
“It’s been a true joy to make these two seasons of Rutherford Falls,” Ornelas said in a statement sent to THR. “Mike Schur, Ed Helms and I set out to make something new, real and smart — but also dumb — that made you cry and think, but also laugh when Reagan got kicked in the face or Nathan was stuffed into a coffin. Before our show — to borrow a line from Terry Thomas, played by the ridiculously talented Michael Greyeyes — ‘Native representation [was], for the most part, a hate crime.’ Which is why it’s been an honor to introduce the best of Indian Country to the masses. We remain overwhelmed by the critical response, garnering a 100 percent Rotten Tomatoes score in our second season, and while we’re sad that our time at Peacock has come to an end we are immensely grateful to them for picking us up and showcasing the talents of comedy legend Ed Helms and breakout stars like Jana Schmieding, Jesse Leigh, Dana Wilson, Dallas Goldtooth, Kaniehtiio Horn, and many others. We love these characters, the world we created, and the impact it has had, and will be exploring other platforms where, hopefully, the folks of Rutherford Falls can call home.”
Schur has a long relationship with Universal Television and is based at the studio under a rich overall deal, having worked on The Office, and created Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place. The Rutherford Falls cancellation marks the second big blow for Schur in recent months and comes after Peacock opted to scrap the baseball superfan’s TV adaptation of Kevin Costner’s beloved Field of Dreams. That show had received a straight-to-series order and was gearing up to shoot in Iowa. Schur, meanwhile, continues to exec produce HBO Max’s Emmy-winning comedy Hacks and Freevee (formerly IMDb TV) comedy Primo.
As for Ornelas, the showrunner last year extended her overall deal with Universal Television and most recently served as a co-exec producer on Apple’s Maya Rudolph comedy Loot. That series was recently picked up for a second season.
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