Starz has officially canceled Ash vs. Evil Dead, just as the series was gearing up for the season 3 finale. There has been growing concern over the future of the series since the start of the new season, and it seems rumors of the show’s demise have proven to be true. That puts a lot of pressure on the upcoming finale to not only bring the current storyline of Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his heretofore unknown daughter Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill) to a close, but it will also have to satisfy fans of the show, and the films it was spun off from, with what will serve as the conclusion to the series as well.
Despite the hype around the show’s premiere back in 2015 and the loyal fan base that’s been attached ever since Campbell’s Ashley J. Williams encountered his first Deadite back in 1981, the series was never much of a ratings winner. That may have come as something of a surprise to the powers that be, but Starz remained confident, typically offering up renewal notices before the start of each new season. When season 3 premiered without such a notice from the premium cabler, it seemed to confirm the show’s days were numbered.
For his part, Campbell has been preparing audiences for this worst-case scenario for some time. While out promoting his new book, Hail to the Chin, Campbell addressed questions regarding the show’s future as well as the future of the Evil Dead franchise and its most famous character. To some audible groans from the audience, Campbell said he believed cancelation of the series would effectively end the franchise. He jokingly then reassured everyone he’s going to be just fine.
It’s difficult to say whether or not this cancelation will really be the end for Ash and those pesky Deadites. Pre-existing IP is basically its own currency in Hollywood at the moment and while Ash may be hanging up his chainsaw for the time being, there’s no telling when the though of a revival might find some producer in Hollywood opening up their wallet. But at this point, it will likely be some time before a new iteration of Evil Dead or Ashley Williams is on the big or small screen.
While it’s always better for a series to go out on its own terms and to have an official final season, for Ash vs. Evil Dead to have delivered three seasons of outrageously gory and over-the-top comedy is nothing to sneeze at. With even the almighty Netflix canceling programs like Everything Sucks and Seven Seconds after just one season, Ash vs. Evil Dead’s three season run looks even more impressive. At any rate, we’ll have to see what the show has in store for what is now its series finale on April 29.
Ash vs. Evil Dead continues Sunday with ‘Judgement Day’ @8pm on Starz.