Karl Sutter has cancelled his FX medieval show The Bastard Executioner – and taken out a full-page ad in The Hollywood Reporter to announce it. “The audience has spoken and unfortunately the word is, ‘meh’. So with due respect, we bring our mythology to an epic and fiery close.” Sutter made the decision following poor ratings for the freshman drama. “The ambitious 14th century period drama lost more than half of its audience through its first six weeks on the air, falling from 4 million combined weekly viewers for its Sept. 15 premiere to just 1.9 million for episode six,” reports THR. By contrast, Sutter’s previous drama, Sons of Anarchy, was one of FX’s highest-rated shows.
Sutter acknowledges that perhaps the show did not get a larger audience because of “a glut of period pieces on right now” and that its mythology might be “too dense.” The showrunner respects critics, but knows that ratings matter more. “It’s fantastic to get a good review [or] an award, but at the end of the day the only thing that matters, really, is numbers. I’m not the guy sitting in my ivory tower spitting shit out and not caring if anyone is watching. … I don’t want to write something that nobody’s f—ing watching.”