It would be tempting to start this item with ‘In surprising news…‘ but, in truth, the recent examples of industry-business news regarding anything to do with the Warners/Discovery empire might have made those words of disbelief redundant with the merger of the two giants and the scrapping of many subsequent decisions seemingly to be about new creative decisions and significantly cutting overhead costs on an unprecedented scale…
Despite a statement last week that the scything of its popular shows and library was over (the likes of Animal Kingdom, The Alienist, Leverage, The Last Ship and Rizzoli and Isles had all vanished from its schedule) news came late Friday that the fourth season of cult-hit Snowpiercer will now no longer be shown on TNT. The hit series, inspired by the original graphic-novel and the subsequent film (starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris and John Hurt) told the story of a generational train traversing the icy post-apocalyptic globe with many a class-based conflict playing out within and around its carriages. The series talent included Daveed Davis, Jennifer Connelly and Sean Bean and it had already been announced that the expensive show would end with its fourth run – making it the last ‘original drama’ on TNT to head out the door, but with a satisfying ending. The biggest news element here is that the fourth outing has been filmed, edited and fully-produced and was expected on-air within the next couple of months, but Warners announced that despite all of these factors, they had pulled the series and no longer intended to show it. Indeed, it’s now become clear they also pulled the first three series from their library as well, without announcing that move. Their latest announcement echoes the fate of the also-completed Batgirl which had also been finished but was yanked away before it could be seen – the company apparently deciding it could make more money from writing it off as a tax-loss than any profit from it actually being in circulation. While the tax aspect hasn’t been mentioned officially, almost every industry-watcher has connected the dots in the raft of recent decisions that would otherwise seem counter-intuitive and bizarre rather than just… ruthless.
TNT released a statement that read: “We can confirm that TNT will not air season four of Snowpiercer. This was a difficult decision, but our admiration for the talented writers, actors and crew who brought Snowpiercer’s extraordinary post-apocalyptic world to life remains strong. We have been working collaboratively with the producers since last year to help the series find a new home where fans can continue to enjoy the compelling story and exceptional visual experience. We look forward to working with them on future projects.”
Industry site Deadline reported that Tomorrow Studios, the company that makes the show may well try to shop the completed episodes to another platform.
“We love Snowpiercer and believe season four completes a story with incredible talent that will entertain viewers while exploring issues of climate change and class warfare. We are so passionate about this series that we have acquired the rights to control the franchise,” Tomorrow Studiossaid in a statement. “We hope to find the perfect partner shortly and finish a great ride with the final season.”