Frank Darabont’s ‘Mob City’ Won’t Get a Second Season

Published 1 year ago by

mob city cancelled bernthal Frank Darabonts Mob City Wont Get a Second Season

Following an acrimonious exit from The Walking Dead (litigation has ensued) revered filmmaker Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Mist, Shawshank Redemption) took his bat and ball and went to TNT to develop Mob City (formerly LA Noir), a look back into the corruption and glamour of the Los Angeles police department in the 1940s.

Based off of John Buntin’s non-fiction book, L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, Mob City had the benefit of telling a story that featured infamous crime figures like Bugsy Siegel and Mickey Cohen as well as a strong cast that featured Jon Bernthal, Milo Ventimiglia, and Edward Burns. Unfortunately, though, the series never really took off, earning lukewarm ratings and now cancellation.

Here’s a brief statement (via Deadline) from a TNT spokesperson abut the decision to rub out Mob City:

“Although the ratings of the limited series haven’t warranted more hours we are eager to work with Frank Darabont again and were delighted to bring the vibrant world of Mob City to life.”

The “limited series” term is the one that might stick in the ear if you’re a Darabont loyalist. While there doesn’t seem to be an oncoming storm on the level of what came out following Darabont’s Walking Dead separation (though, it is still early and we haven’t yet heard Darabont’s response to the decision), it could be argued that TNT somewhat stacked the deck on Mob City. Originally developed as a series, TNT started throwing the “limited series” and “event series” moniker around as it promoted the series back in August. They also did the show no favors, stacking two episodes at a time to burn the show off in early December over the course of three successive Wednesdays.

Ed Burns in Mob City Season 1 Episode 1 Frank Darabonts Mob City Wont Get a Second Season

Why the initial lack of faith? That’s an open question, but perhaps TNT just didn’t like what they saw from the series. Though it got fair to middling reviews, the show did seem to have this glossy sheen of in-authenticity over it.

It’s an unfair comparison and a different era, but if you compare the feel of the dialogue in Mob City to something like Mad Men (which takes on the 1960s), the latter feels more honest in its portrayals. Those characters feel relatable, like people that we would recognize who are shaped by the ideals that were prevalent at that time. They aren’t preciously old timey, uttering “golly”, “shucks”, and “groovy” as they embody an ill formed caricature of the 60s. They don’t feel nearly as fictional as they should.

There are cinematic moments where Don Draper comes off like a larger than life movie star of that era, but as someone who has spent his adult life portraying a character to everyone around him, Draper’s grandeur makes sense because it is part of his shtick. He’s projecting this character as a shield (and as a reflex). When the characters in Mob City mug or riff, it feels like Darabont’s ear for the sound of the 1940s is too heavily influenced by the films and noir novels of that time.

As for what Frank Darabont will do now that his latest series has fallen down by the wayside, that’s anybody’s guess. He could surely get another project on television, but at this point, one has to wonder if the process has exhausted him. After seven years away from theaters and a lot of time developing TV shows that ultimately broke his heart, maybe it’s time for Frank Darabont to return to the relative autonomy of film. Maybe make a movie about zombies, I hear they’re big right now.


Source: Deadline

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
TAGS: Mob city
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. I knew it!… it seemed poor with weak performances

  2. Typo: Mob not Moby.

    Mob City failed because it didn’t have zombies. :)

    • I’d watch a Moby City show. Cool theme music, I bet.

  3. I want him to go back to The Walking Dead
    But it will never happen

  4. I saw Shane and Dale in the opening episode, was I missing something?? Oh yea they’ve died again

  5. It’s a shame because I’m currently enjoying Mob City (Fox have been airing it, we get episode 5 this Friday) and thought we could get more stories out of it.

    Oh well, they also cancelled the brilliant Low Winter Sun due to poor ratings thanks to people missing out on a pretty good show so I’m not surprised and nor will the friends and family members I’ll break the news to who also had to suffer great shows being cancelled for the same reason (shows such as No Ordinary Family for example).

    • Episodes 5 and 6 are good, if you ask me. Is Low Winter Sun good? I watched the first three maybe four episodes, the first two were good but three and four I thought lacked something. If it gets better, I wouldn’t mind trying it, even if it did get cancelled. And I agree, No Ordinary Family was underrated and got better as the season went on, great show overall.

  6. To be honest I’m kind of surprised that this is just being announced now. I had just assumed that after the bad ratings and the fact that the show wasn’t really any good that any chance of another season wasn’t even considered.

    Like Jason mentioned in the article I’m ready for Darabont to get back to making movies. It’s been almost 7 years since The Mist and that’s to long IMO.
    I’d love to see him make another horror movie.

    • The Mist? Wasn’t that the prequel to Pacific Rim? :)

      • HaHa!!!

      • You just blew my mind.

        • The Mist has Kaiju?

          Now I gotta see it!!

          • I think there are Kaiju in Cloverfield too. :)

  7. The news doesn’t really come as a surprise. I liked the idea for the series but it just wasn’t executed all that well, whether it was the acting not being up to par or the network or just Darabont not being on his game. I do think though that maybe it’s time for Darabont to go back to the big screen. He has a way for storytelling and I think he can dish out some good movies. I just think with how everything went down with TWD and now with Mob City, network execs might be a little hesitant on bringing him on for another project. Time to take your talents to the big screen sir

  8. This is what I hate, I watch a show and dont get closure. I liked the show, it wasnt great but it wasnt bad. I would have liked to see one more 6 episode season to finish the story.

  9. It didnt have the feel or any originality at all..Also the writing wasnt that good-whether it was based on the book or not,every show has its hook or niche, something that the viewer can take away with them that would warrant them to catch the next episode whether its the characters,the way they talk,the action,the soap opera asthetics, something has to be there to continue watching it..I think alot of folks who liked Jon Berenthals character from Walking Dead prolly thought that even though he was in character for that show that the way he spoke,country city accent,was actually him then saw him in Mob City and realized it wasnt..not saying that they were expecting Festus in a Mob show but considering he may have been slightly typecasted to his Dead character when moving on to the other show. Also when folks think about Mob films, we usually think like The Untouchables,Goodfellas, The Godfather,Scarface, old gangster flicks,even recent films like Millers Crossing,Bugsy,La Confidential,Gangster Squad..even The Untouchables the tv show was better..

  10. Unbearable first episode. I was excited for this one but turned it off within 10 minutes. Am surprised it took so long to be cancelled. LoL…feel bad for the actors though. Hope they get some good work soon.

    • Yeah, I felt the same way. The 1st episode took me several times to get through it. I then watched the 2nd and 3rd episodes but it still had the same issues. The problem with this show is that it didn’t provide something to hook you in. Boardwalk Empire provided some great hooks to keep people in but with this show it felt very bland at times. The writing was excellent but the way it was executed wasn’t done well. Say what you want about TWD with all of it’s issues but they still provide constant “hook” to keep people interested.

  11. GUTTED! I really enjoyed Mob City! I agree it was slow to start, but it ended really well. I wanted to see the L.A Noir era captured on screen in a 2nd series.

    I reckon its a mistake not to give it a 2nd run.