Way back in October of 2015, I sat amongst thousands of Evil Dead fans at NYC’s Hammerstein Ballroom for the Ash vs Evil Dead panel at that year’s NYCC. After giving us a screening of the pilot episode, Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi spoke frankly and honestly about why they chose the STARZ network for the next phase in the Evil Dead universe and how the fans would ultimately decide the fate of the show. Simply put, after three seasons, the viewership just wasn’t there. With two episodes to go in what’s been an absolutely incredible Season 3, STARZ announced today it would not be renewing Ash and friends for a fourth season.
The series received positive reviews and was/is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. However, STARZ did not see a significant ratings jump after Season 2 and postponed the show’s usual Fall premiere for a late February debut for the third season. Despite the show putting on some of its best and most emotionally satisfying episodes this year, viewership simply wasn’t there. And that is on us, the fans. STARZ is pay cable, but we knew this 3 years ago. In a world with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, and more, not enough fans were willing to pay the $8.00 a month for STARZ. In fact, Ash vs Evil Dead was regularly the most illegally downloaded show on cable. Campbell never hid the fact that the fans would be the ultimate deciders, saying in an interview earlier this year that if the show was cancelled, then that was indeed that for Ash Williams; a character he’s played for over 30 years.
I am NOT happy. Ash vs Evil Dead is without question my favorite show on TV based on one of my favorite horror movie series. The show became personal for me. Three straight amazing years I got to cover their panel at NYCC and I was privileged to be able to interview the incomparable Bruce Campbell and his Ghost Beater partners Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago several times, including in the press room at New York Comic-Con last year. The cast and crew are very interactive with their fans on social media and live tweet during the episodes to make it even more fun.
Bruce Campbell, perhaps sensing this day, told everyone at New York Comic-Con last year that the final two episodes were insane and contained some of the biggest moments for the show. So at very least the series is going out with a bang.
On behalf of Geeks Of Doom, I want to thank everyone at Ash vs Evil Dead for providing us three amazing seasons of TV. Bruce Campbell brought the same fire to Ash in 2015 that he did in the original Evil Dead trilogy and stretched his acting chops farther this season. Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago are here to stay. DeLorenzo took Kelly Maxwell and turned her into the single most badass woman on television capable of matching Ash in deadite slaying as well as hilarious one-liners. Santiago’s Pablo is up there with the all time great sidekicks and turned into a pretty awesome badass as well.
I’d like to think somehow someway we will see more from this amazing cast and crew. But it just doesn’t seem in the cards. Campbell and the rest of the cast took to Twitter to thank STARZ for the creative freedom they offered. The penultimate episode hits STARZ this Sunday night at 9:00 and then the finale is Sunday, April 29th. The blood cannons will turn off and I’d like to envision the cast loading into the infamous Delta and driving off into the sunset.
Ash vs Evil Dead… Thank you for three amazing seasons. You will be missed.
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