Stephen King has been on a roll this year following a slew of film and TV adaptations based on some of his most recognized novels. Although It is breaking records in movie theaters, not all of these recent TV adaptations have found the same level of success. Back in 2015, Spike ordered a series based on King's The Mist, which revolved around a group of civilians trying to survive a mysterious and violent (you guessed it) mist.
While the series spent quite some time in hiatus, it eventually assembled a star-studded cast consisting of #MorganSpector, Alyssa Sutherland and #FrancesConroy. Before we knew it, production had wrapped.
Fans couldn't wait to see what this new project would become, especially since more than eight years had passed after Frank Darabont's film adaptation. After the arduous development process came to an end, the show premiered this past June to a solid viewership of 1.2 million. Understandably, Spike had high hopes for the project. The network's president, Kevin Kay, even teased in August that Season 2 could become part of their move to Paramount Network:
"In success, if this season on Spike goes well, we would pick it up for next year, and Season 2 will be on Paramount. I think it looks very good, there is a big marketing campaign that is about to launch around it. We think it’s got a lot of potential, and it might join the Paramount Network."
But as we just learned, that wasn't in the cards. Buckle up if you're a diehard #StephenKing fan, because according to The Hollywood Reporter, Spike has decided to cancel The Mist after only one season.
So what happened? Well, the pilot's strong numbers didn't last. Each episode after that struggled to break the 800,000 viewer mark, even with DVR audience accounted for. Now, that reduced viewership has resulted in a sad ending for the series. This is actually the third series Spike has cancelled recently, with the other two being Harvest and Red Mars.
It Was Probably Better For 'The Mist' To Have A Short Run Anyway
It's probably heartbreaking for fans of the show to see it get cancelled, but I feel it was the right move to give the series a more contained run. It's easy for a TV to fall into the trap of stretching the story too far just to continue for multiple seasons. In fact, Under the Dome, another King adaptation, stumbled and fell for that very reason.
From how the first season ended with our protagonists seeing soldiers (presumably working for the Arrowhead Project) and dropping inmates off in the middle of nowhere for the Mist to feed on), the intent with The Mist was most likely to give it a long run, but the story wasn't really built for that treatment. While the series maintained high quality throughout its 10-episode run, the show's tone didn't establish a foundation for an extended storyline.
The Mist centered around a group of people trying to survive and maintain order in their respective holding zones. It was essentially a survivors' story (you know, with insane mystical creatures thrown into the mix), and plot that contained would ideally be treated as an event series, similar to The People v. O.J. Simpson, or American Horror Story.
Some may argue that there were still a threads left dangling in the story. What happened to Kevin and his family? How was the Arrowhead Project involved with the mist? How is the mist stopped in the first place? While those are important storylines, they could have been resolved in the span of a couple of episodes to prevent the series from falling off the rails or changing structure so much that it lost its original identity (see Under the Dome). While some plot points will remain unresolved, the show's cancellation was probably for the best when it comes to maintaining storytelling integrity.
How do you feel about The Mist getting cancelled? Would you have liked to see the show continue or was cancelling it before it went longer the right move? Let me know in the comments!
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]