The cable network announced Wednesday that tonight’s season finale would be its series finale.
“It’s very difficult to find common ground with other people whose stories we do not know or understand,” FX CEO John Landgraf said in a statement announcing the news. “The creators of Tyrant have done their utmost over three seasons to tell American audiences a tiny fraction of the many gripping, human stories coursing through the Middle East today. We want to thank Howard Gordon, Chris Keyser and their talented team of collaborators, including all the writers, directors, cast and crew, as well as our studio partners at Fox 21 Television Studios, for taking on Tyrant’s tremendously ambitious story with such profound dedication and respect.”
“Tyrant is a beloved show to all of us at Fox 21 Television Studios, and we are indebted to Howard and Chris for their incredible work, and to John Landgraf and everyone at FX who have been fantastic partners,” said Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke. “We feel the show is a gem and we’d love to find a way to keep it in production. That said, we want to be realistic about its prospects. So for its loyal audience, tonight’s episode will be a satisfying end should the series not find another home, but also provides interesting possibilities should we be able to continue on some other platform.”
The drama starring Adam Rayner, Jennifer Finnigan and, in season three, Chris Noth, was never an out-of-the-box ratings hit for FX. The drama wrapped its sophomore run with an average of 2.47 million total viewers and 1 million adults 18-49 when factoring in seven days of DVR. Last week’s penultimate episode of season three drew just 830,000 live viewers. This season has been averaging 1.5 million total viewers with three days of DVR.
In a cover story pegged to season one of Tyrant, The Hollywood Reporter revealed the turmoil behind the scenes of the ambitious series, including a director switch (Ang Lee was initially on board), set relocations (from Morocco to Israel — and again, in season two, from Israel to Budapest) and creator Gideon Raff’s departure.
When the drama made its debut in midsummer, it endured critical backlash before a single frame aired because of the sensitive subject matter. But Gordon insisted the show has been well-received within the Arab community. “The response from groups of dissidents and people who were either jailed in Egypt or fled Syria or are still in Egypt has been extremely positive,” he told THR ahead of the show’s season-two opener.
With the cancellation of Tyrant, FX’s drama lineup now consists of three anthologies — American Horror Story, American Crime Story and Fargo — as well as The Americans and The Strain and the upcoming Taboo and Marvel drama Legion. On the pilot side, the cabler has only one drama in the works: John Singleton’s twice-developed Snowfall.
For Gordon, meanwhile, the news comes as the prolific producer has opted to take a year sabbatical in Spain and will not be contributing scripts to Showtime’s Homeland, where he remains an executive producer. He next has Fox’s reboot of 24, the Corey Hawkins starrer 24: Legacy.