AMC Networks Cancels Two More Series

The AMC Network has scrapped two upcoming drama productions: 61st Street Season 2 and the new series Invitation to a Bonfire. According to a report by Variety, both shows were already well underway when AMC decided abruptly to pull the plug. These cancellations are meant to cut costs, meaning that scrapping the work that has already been done will somehow be cheaper than moving forward and airing the content.

AMC announced plans to begin cutting costs last month, starting with "strategic programming assessments." They expected to take write-downs for about $400 million worth of content, while another $75 million of savings will come from "organizational restructuring costs." These plans were relayed to the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), but this week's cancellations are the first real sign of them.

61st Street Season 2 had reportedly been filmed in its entirety before the network decided to cancel it. AMC will now get write-offs simply for not airing this season. Meanwhile, Invitation to a Bonfire was intended to be six episodes long, and the network had already filmed four of those episodes when it decided to cancel.

These cancellations are notably similar to actions at Warner Bros. Discovery over the last year that have perplexed fans and industry veterans alike. The company scrapped a Batgirl movie that was reportedly almost finished, along with many other projects for its streaming services. The idea that it would save more money than they would lose to make these cuts has raised a lot of questions.

In the case of AMC, the cuts can also be attributed to an abrupt change in leadership. AMC Networks CEO Christina Spade stepped down from her role after less than three months, replaced by James L. Dolan who is serving as the "interim executive chairman." Dolan has already warned employees that some big changes were likely on the way.

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"We are primarily a content company and the mechanisms for the monetization of content are in disarray," he wrote. He warned that the upcoming cost-saving measures would include "a large-scale layoff as well as cuts to every operating area of AMC Networks."

In today's day and age, it's not uncommon for a canceled project to be revived at a different outlet, and AMC acknowledged that possibility here. The SEC filing reportedly notes: "The Company may realize some future licensing and other revenue associated with some of the owned titles." For now, there's no word on revival plans for either 61st Street or Invitation to a Bonfire.