The complex drama thriller cannot survive beyond the first season, not only because it is rating-challenged but also because 'The Walking Dead' is the network's new darling.
For the first time AMC does not renew a freshman series beyond the first season. "Rubicon", a conspiracy thriller starring James Badge Dale, falls victim to this move, which was announced on Thursday, November 11.
AMC had such confidence in series like "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" when they first aired that they were instantly renewed. In fact, the network ordered a second season of "The Walking Dead" after only three episodes into the first season. Apparently "Rubicon" had to wait almost a month after it completed its debut season in October.
AMC calls this a tough decision. In a statement the network said, " 'Rubicon' gave us an opportunity to tell a rich and compelling story, and we're proud of the series. This was not an easy decision, but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented, dedicated team."
There are several factors that can contribute to the cancellation of the series. First of all, its highly-praised pilot was followed by slower-in-pace episodes. This resulted in a rating which can't go far above 1 million per week. Although "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" did similarly rating-wise in their first season, AMC still gave it a chance to grow.
This leads to the speculation that the "Walking Dead" effect is the biggest factor. The zombie series scored the best rating for a premiere in the network's history back on October 31. Beside setting the bar higher, "Walking Dead" may take a large sum of money from AMC's pocket for its production, not to mention the cost for new seasons of "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad".