While The Shannara Chronicles got off to a strong start the show suffered a huge ratings dip when it moved network. Here’s why season 3 won’t happen.
Despite attracting a strong cult following, The Shannara Chronicles season 3 has been canceled. The Shannara Chronicles was a fantasy series based on author Terry Brooks’ The Sword Of Shannara Trilogy that takes place in a distant future. The Shannara Chronicles season 1 was executive produced by Jon Favreau (The Lion King) and roughly adapted the story of Brooks’ The Elfstones Of Shannara. The series follows a group of characters who must protect the Ellcrys from dying, which is an ancient tree that keeps banished demons locked away. If the tree dies, it will plunge the world into chaos.
In contrast to the violence and bloodshed seen on Game Of Thrones, The Shannara Chronicles was a lighter, more family-friendly fantasy series. That’s not to say it didn’t feature its fair share of shocking deaths, however. The show also embraced its fantasy roots, featuring magic, elves, mages, and all the trimmings. The Shannara Chronicles season 1 was a huge hit for MTV, but once the network got out of making scripted series, season 2 moved to Spike TV and its fortunes changed for the worst.
The show was canceled following The Shannara Chronicles season 2 finale. It was later shopped around to other networks. Sadly, the fantasy series never found a new home. Here’s what we know about the cancellation of The Shannara Chronicles season 3, as well as the possibility of a revival.
The Shannara Chronicles Season 2 Suffered When Moved To Spike TV
The premiere of The Shannara Chronicles season 1 pulled in over 7.5 million viewers, and the season maintained healthy ratings throughout airing. The series was shot in New Zealand which maintained its links to classic fantasy movies like The Lord Of The Rings trilogy. The show also cast John Rhys-Davies in a major supporting role, and co-star Manu Bennett also played Azog the Defiler in The Hobbit movies.
Sadly, the ratings for The Shannara Chronicles season 2 essentially tanked once it moved to Spike TV. The network move allowed the show to get a little darker, but the ratings for season 2 never peaked above 310,000 viewers, which was a major downturn from the show’s debut episode. The combination of low ratings and high production costs meant the writing was on the wall for The Shannara Chronicles season 3, with Spike TV – which was about to transition into the Paramount Network – canceling the show after season 2 ended.
The Real Reason Why The Shannara Chronicles Was Canceled
While The Shannara Chronicles might have seen a dip in viewership when it moved to Spike, some larger forces might have already doomed the show. It was announced that the TV series would move to Spike (previously Spike TV) in May 2017, and season 2 aired from October through November 2017. However, Viacom, the parent company of Spike, announced in February 2017 that they would be rebranding from Spike to Paramount Network. The name change took effect on January 18, 2018, just two days after the cancellation of The Shannara Chronicles was announced. As part of the rebrand from Spike to Paramount Network, the network began to focus on more adult-focused content and The Shannara Chronicles young-adult vibe no longer fit their aesthetic and likely led them to ditch the show rather than continuing to invest while the fanbase built back up.
Could The Shannara Chronicles Season 3 Still Happen?
The show’s studio Solar Entertainment hoped to shop The Shannara Chronicles season 3 around to different networks, with some fans hoping Netflix – who stream the series – would pick up the bill. Unfortunately, those efforts appear to have come to nothing, and the show is officially considered dead. It’s a shame The Shannara Chronicles came to an abrupt end after such a promising start, but given the wealth of material in the franchise, a movie or TV reboot in the future is still a possibility.
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