Kurt Sutter Cancels FX ‘Bastard Executioner’ Himself … Via Ad
Any surprise that Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter would dive right back into FX for medieval drama The Bastard Executioner was compounded by the series’ lackluster performance, quietly airing its season finale only last night. That “season” has notably, and publicly become “series,” as Sutter himself opted to announce its cancellation via a Hollywood Reporter ad.
“The audience has spoken, and unfortunately that word is ‘meh,’” wrote Sutter in a full page ad thanking cast and crew, simultaneously confirming that FX wouldn’t renew The Bastard Executioner for a second season. The Wales-shot medieval drama only aired its first finale “Blood And Quiescence / Crau A Chwsg” last night, though the writing was apparently on the wall for Sutter.
In a wide-ranging interview, Sutter offered a few tidbits on the cancellation, assuring that cast and crew were informed prior to the Hollywood Reporter ad:
Look, I know the game. I know the way it works. Obviously, we premiered low, but I wasn’t worried about that that much. I know that you basically have to establish a medium line, where you have your base and that’s your core audience and then you can go, “OK, can we build from that? Can we sell ad time based on that?” But the problem was — and, look, I’m very proud of the show and many of the people who watched the show dug it — we were just ticking down a tenth of a point each week. When you’re in that mode, it’s just purely numbers.
And look, it’s obviously an expensive show and a high-profile show. I think it was as heartbreaking for Landgraf as it was for me. John loves the mythology, he loves the theme of it and the message of it. But at the end of the day, if you can’t sustain it, you can’t do it […]
I think the mythology was a little too dense for some people. There’s a glut of period pieces on right now, and I’m sure timing has something to do it. There’s just so many f—ing variables involved in that formula. My sense is that a year from now, people will be like, “Why didn’t you make more?” (Laughs.) I mean, I get so many people telling me they’re on episode four of Sons.
Sutter also noted that FX would likely renew their focus on a Mayans-based Sons of Anarchy spinoff, though Sutter’s involvement wouldn’t necessarily increase in the wake of The Bastard Executioner.
For those unfamiliar, Lee Jones played the title role, with will True Blood star Stephen Moyer acting as his right hand man Milus, Katey Sagal appearing as “Annora of the Alders,” and even native Welshman and The Americans lead Matthew Rhys in a guest role. Other stars include Flora Spencer-Longhurst, Sam Spruell, Darren Evans, Danny Sapani, Timothy V. Murphy, Sarah White, and even Ed Sheeran.
You can check out Sutter’s full cancellation ad below, but is there anything to miss about The Bastard Executioner?