Moonhaven, the new science fiction series starring former Lost actor Dominic Monaghan, has been canceled. AMC+ initially renewed the show for a second season in July, but AMC Networks reversed that decision as it seeks to cut costs across the company. Moonhaven will end with just six episodes, released on the AMC+ streaming service between July 7 and Aug. 4.
AMC Networks found itself in a troubling position last week. On Nov. 29, the company announced plans to cut 20% of its U.S. staff, just after CEO Christina Spade suddenly stepped down. A few days later, AMC Networks said it would take write-downs for up to $475 million as it restructures the business and cuts costs, reports Deadline. That number includes $400 million for content-related decisions.
In an SEC filing, AMC Networks said that "programming assessments pertain to a broad mix of owned and licensed content, including legacy television series and films that will no longer be in active rotation on the company's linear or digital platforms." Sources told Deadline that reversing Moonhaven's Season 2 order was part of the new assessments. The move was surprising since AMC said Moonhaven was the most-watched AMC+ exclusive series.
"This is such an engaging and entertaining series, brilliantly conceived and run by Peter. The story is suspenseful, provocative and prescient, and features a phenomenal cast that delivers mesmerizing performances," Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, said when Moonhaven was renewed. "What Peter and the team are crafting for season two is next level, and the fans will be thrilled."
"I couldn't be more excited to return to the Moon and continue our story with this amazing cast and crew," creator Peter Ocko said. "AMC+ has been a wonderful partner in bringing our world to life, and we can't wait to continue the journey."
Moonhaven was created by Ocko (Lodge 49, The Office, Elementary), who also served as the showrunner. The series was set in a dystopian future where humans have colonized part of the moon to save society after the Earth is left ravaged. In the pilot, there is a murder just as a group of "Mooners" is about to go back to Earth to help "Earthers" overcome their crises. Monaghan played Detective Paul Serno. Joe Manganiello, Amara Karan, Emma McDonald, Kadeem Hardison, and Ayelet Zurer were members of the main cast.
Although Moonhaven earned enough viewers to be briefly renewed, the show wasn't a big hit with critics. The show earned just a 65% fresh rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. It also had a 51% average audience score from Rotten Tomatoes users.