USA Network made a grave announcement yesterday. The network behind Mr Robot has cancelled Damnation due to low ratings.
And it’s a damned shame because the Depression-era strike-break drama series, starring Killian Scott, Logan Marshall-Green and Sarah Jones, scored high in my Top Twenty Shows of 2017.
Not even Netflix’s involvement as co-producer to help offset the costs (in return for first-run rights for the series outside of the U.S.) could help save the “epic saga of the secret history of the 1930’s American heartland.” Nor could Sarah Jones’ beautiful face:
The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg ironically said in his review that the “union saga struggles to achieve solidarity,” while the same publication going on to state: “with live-plus-3 returns, Damnation bowed to a not-insignificant 1.4 million viewers. Subsequent episodes, however, dropped dramatically. The latest to see time-shifting adds, which originally aired Jan. 11, barely topped 500,000 viewers.”
While USA Network’s in-house production could have been better executed, it was a goddamned blueprint in character, world-building and plotting to any budding young television writers. I would have loved to have seen where Tony Tost would have taken the series but the inescapable fact of the matter is that the network cancelled Damnation just as it was becoming must-see TV.
Occasionally, some shows (like The Leftovers) receive a stay of execution from the network because they are just too good to cancel however low the ratings. Fun as Damnation was, unfortunately, it wasn’t quite up to the same standard.
Rest in Peace, Damnation.