Not long before officially re-branding as The Paramount Network, Spike TV has canceled fantasy adaptation The Shannara Chronicles. Filmed in New Zealand, The Shannara Chronicles is based on the Sword of Shannara trilogy of novels by author Terry Brooks. The Shannara books were originally published during the 70s and 80s, so they took awhile to reach the screen. The Shannara Chronicles TV series is more specifically modeled after Brooks’ second novel, The Elfstones of Shannara.
Season 1 of The Shannara Chronicles aired on MTV in 2016, quickly becoming one of the network’s most watched original properties. MTV renewed the series for a second season, but that season ended up airing on fellow Viacom cable network Spike TV. Despite Shannara’s success, its demographics skewed older than the high school and college age target audience of MTV, so the decision was made to move it to an outlet that might be a better fit. Plus, MTV has rapidly turned away from original scripted programming in order to refocus on unscripted offerings.
Unfortunately, The Shannara Chronicles’ high ratings didn’t continue on Spike TV, with last fall’s season 2 averaging less than 500k viewers, even when delayed DVR viewing was accounted for. With Spike TV about to re-brand to The Paramount Network, Viacom decided to cut its losses and cancel Shannara, according to TV Guide. That said, while season 3 of The Shannara Chronicles won’t air on Spike TV, there may be a glimmer of hope still for fans.
According to Deadline, Shannara Chronicles production company Sonar and the series’ producers have already begun having conversations in the hopes of finding Wil Ohmsford a new home. The Shannara Chronicles currently streams on Netflix, so the streaming giant is being considered as one possible avenue to continue the series, as is rival streamer Amazon. While fans can certainly hope for the best, most of the time when a series is canceled, nobody else comes along to save it. Those instances of rescue by another outlet are still fairly rare, so fans shouldn’t get too set on the idea that The Shannara Chronicles will continue elsewhere.
Despite the big ratings drop experienced by The Shannara Chronicles season 2, both seasons of the fantasy adventure program have been widely praised by critics. If another TV network or streaming service does indeed decide to save season 3 from oblivion, that prestige factor will probably play a pivotal role.
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