‘Zombieland’ TV Series Dropped By Amazon After Unsuccessful Pilot

Published 1 year ago by

The cast of Zombieland Zombieland TV Series Dropped By Amazon After Unsuccessful Pilot

Amazon Studios, the production company that was recently set up by online retailer Amazon, has so far employed a quite unique approach to producing TV shows and movies. They openly publish information about which projects they’re considering on the site and allow visitors to give feedback on what they’d most like to see get made. In April 2013, they stepped up their plans for producing original TV shows by making 14 new pilots available to watch online, and inviting viewers to help decide which ones got commissioned for a full series.

The fates of the shows depended on a number of different variables. Though Amazon invited viewers to vote for their favorite show and review the ones that they watched, they were also looking at how many people watched the pilot episodes all the way to the end and how many times they were shared on social media – as well as organizing both online and offline focus groups to give feedback. One of the pilots that garnered a lot of interest before launch was Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese’s TV adaptation of their much-loved comedy-horror movie, Zombieland.

Unfortunately for anyone who was looking forward to watching the show, Reese has announced on Twitter that Amazon has decided not to commission Zombieland for a full series. A number of Zombieland fans had protested, even before the pilot aired, against the fact that the show would have the same characters as the movie, played by different actors. Reese was clearly upset by the outcome, and went on to imply that fan backlash was directly responsible for the show being cancelled:

“Sad for everyone involved … I’ll never understand the vehement hate the pilot received from die-hard Zombieland fans. You guys successfully hated it out of existence.”

Zombieland Rule 1 Zombieland TV Series Dropped By Amazon After Unsuccessful Pilot

While dissatisfaction from hardcore Zombieland fans no doubt factored into Amazon’s decision to cancel it, it’s unfair to say that this was the sole reason for Zombieland not getting commissioned for a full season. The pilot was – to be put it bluntly – just not very good, something that was widely reflected in the reviews. The criticisms levied at Reese and Wernick for choosing to have the show be about the characters from the movie proved to be valid as the pilot jumped right into the Columbus-Wichita romance subplot with some seriously clumsy exposition, and in general it felt like the actors were trying too hard to emulate the performances of Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin.

The Zombieland pilot also had some pretty stiff competition in what Amazon were quite open about promoting as a gladiatorial fight to full series commission. The show was up against Onion News Empire, a sharp and quick-firing comedy based on popular satirical news site The Onion, Alpha House, a political sitcom led by John Goodman, and edgy school-based sitcom Those Who Can’t, among several others. While Zombieland was far from the worst in show, it also wasn’t the best.

Let us know in the comments if you agree with Amazon’s decision, or if you’re saddened to hear that Zombieland won’t be continuing.

[poll id="602"]

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Source: Rhett Reese (via IGN)

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TAGS: zombieland

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  1. Jesse Eisenberg was Columbus, not Michael Cera. lol

    • Curse their separated-at-birth nervy good looks. The article’s been corrected.

  2. I watched the Zombieland pilot. I didn’t mind it. I didn’t love it. It was better than expected after watching that horrendous trailer. I would have preferred them using different characters and have them discovering Columbus’s rules in a journal or something like that. Oh well, life goes on.

    Now someone develop a Ghostbusters’ sitcom!

    • @Professor Procrastination

      Off the subject.

      I have the most boring twitter in the world…But thanks for following.

      And, case you were wondering, there were too many Waines on twitter, so I used my wife maiden name

      Which ironically there is a small army of Williamses

  3. It was Jesse Eisenberg, not Michael Cera who played Columbus.

  4. Definitely wasn’t my favorite comedy of all time, but still very surprised it got cancelled. I thought it had a lot of potential, especially with the writers from the movie being involved.

  5. it wasn’t written very well..the outcome of it didn’t flow well..and the actors tried too hard to portray the original actors who made those roles in the movie. Add to that, the *spoiler for anyone who hasnt seen it* repeated deaths of any new group member that looked poised to join them got old fast. Recast it, or give us a proper sequel. The people they chose to portray the group for the most part were horrible…especially Tallahasee. WOW. That choice was B-A-D. glad it’s not going to series

  6. this has nothing incomon with zombie-land except character names, glad it got canceled..

  7. It just shows the small niche the movie itself had/has. The movie itself was ‘ok’ but (IMO) wasn’t all that to warrant a TV show or even a sequel or other follow up movie.

    It was good for what it was when it was and thats it.

    Some of the choices/writing in the movie itself made no sense in the grand scheme. Entertaining? Sure. Something to watch over and over or put on TV/sequel, dont think so.

  8. I voted the “Hell yes, don’t ruin the movie” option even though I hated the movie and thought it sucked. There was just no other poll option that described accurately how I felt.

    As said above, the movie itself wasn’t good enough to warrant anything more to do with that world. The “comedy” failed big time, the inventive ways of killing zombies seemed as boring and pointless as the Saw movies (that did the same thing but with live victims, just endless inventive deaths with no semblance of plot), Harrison, Stone and Breslin were wasted in the movie (sorry but whether it’s Eisenberg or Cera, both are terrible) and the rules appearing on screen constantly really took me out of the movie and distracted.

    The only high point was the Bill Murray cameo and even that felt forced and only raised a slight “hey look, Bill Murray!” reaction.

    To blame fan outrage as the sole reason the TV version failed is short-sighted. Fans are what makes or breaks a product and I think it’s about time a company is willing to admit that like they have here by listening to feedback. If it were any other media company behind it (or even a TV network), we’d have had maybe 5 seasons of this crap before it got cancelled purely to cash in on this zombie craze that’s been going on for years now and ironically, just won’t die.

    There are better ideas to greenlight out there. These guys should just concentrate all their efforts on getting that Deadpool movie greenlit instead of complaining that something they tried to replicate didn’t go down well with people who were willing to give feedback when asked.

  9. I have not seen the Zombieland movie nor have I seen the pilot. However…

    I would seem to me that launching a series such as this particularly in a new
    venue such as Amazon respect for the core audience that has sustained
    interest in the film and lead to the series project genesis is essential.

    Rhett Reese’s whining about fan hatred to blame is a lame
    deflection of any blame on his part for the series failures.

  10. The intro was hilarious, but the rest was pretty disappointing.

  11. The pilot had the atmosphere and the comedy of the movie. But the 4 actors they hired to replace the cast from the movie is what ruined it. If the jokes in the pilot had been done by the films cast, it would have been a huge success.

  12. Wow, who didn’t see this coming? LOL. The pilot was horrible. Yes, the writers were still attached to the series but what made the movie were the actors. Woody, Jesse, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin took a horrible movie and made it into a successful movie. It wasn’t the writers but the actors that gave name to Reese and Wernick. Had they chosen different actors the outcome could have been different.

  13. Hell yes! Sorry for everyone who worked on this and needs to look for a new job now, but in the long run it’s for the better. At least that terrible show can’t ruin the reputation of those involved any more than it already has.

    • p.s.: “You guys successfully hated it out of existence.”

      No, your incompetence did that. We just reacted to it.

  14. So… can we get Zombieland 2 now? I hope so,the cast was mainly what made the first movie so good for me.

  15. Thank God. Now bring on ZOMBIELAND 2

  16. They should have stuck to their guns and made the sequel with that search for the “super-star cameo” that they were going to get.

    Everyone involved with the film (EVEN WOODY) said they’d reprise their roles for ZOMBIELAND 2. Woody even said “I don’t do sequels, but I love this moie so much, how could I not”

    Get the original actors on board, write an awesome sequel, bring in Tallehasses love interest and kill some zombies!

  17. Here’s an idea… How about we forget this ever happened and get back to the idea of making a real sequel… with the original actors.

  18. With all the movies getting sequels, I’m really surprised Zombieland didn’t. Just checked, it’s budget was 23 mil with a gross of 102 mil and it had a great cast. One of Hollywood’s unexplained phenomenon i guess.

  19. Wasn’t surprised. I renounce zombies. The genre has played itself out.

  20. you people don’t deserve a sequel.

  21. I was sad to find out the show was cancelled, I enjoyed the first episode and was looking forward to the series. The tv show was not at the same standard as the movie which I expected but if it was actually aired I believe a lot more people would of enjoyed it. Look at the walking dead which has a huge fan base and is boring at the best of times.