April 20, 2018
‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ Cancelled After 3 Seasons
Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up: not enough of you watched Ash vs Evil Dead, and now the show has been cancelled after three seasons. Perhaps this is the end of Bruce Campbell‘s chainsaw-wielding Ash Williams. Or maybe not…
Bruce Campbell reprising his iconic Evil Dead role for a gory TV series was, perhaps, a dream too beautiful to last. After being plagued with sagging ratings, Ash vs Evil Dead has officially been cancelled by Starz. The impending third season finale, set to air on April 29, will now serve as the series finale.
The show continued the storyline started by Sam Raimi‘s Evil Dead film in 1981. After Evil Dead became a cult hit, Raimi followed it up with the goofier, more tongue-in-cheek Evil Dead 2. After Evil Dead 2 came the even more silly Army of Darkness. All three films had Campbell in the lead as Ash Williams, a retail employee who becomes an unlikely hero, constantly battling demonic forces known as Deadites. During the course of the films, Ash lost his hand, which was replaced by a specially modified chainsaw appendage.
After Army of Darkness, the fate of the Evil Dead franchise remained in limbo. In 2015, the series was reborn with the Starz series Ash vs Evil Dead. Set roughly 30 years after the events of the Evil Dead films, Ash vs. Evil Dead found an older, grumpier Ash dealing with his legacy and also having to confront the Deadites once again. Along the way he picked up sidekicks Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo). Also thrown into the mix is the mysterious Ruby (Lucy Lawless).
Fans of the Evil Dead franchise rejoiced to have Ash back, but fan appeal wasn’t enough to keep the show afloat. Per Variety, “the show had seen a steep fall off in its ratings during Season 3, averaging just a 0.08 rating in adults 18-49 and 177,000 viewers per episode with two episodes remaining in the season.” Campbell and company appeared to see the writing on the wall, and had been talking about the potential cancellation of the show during promotion for season 3. “We won’t know [if we’re cancelled] till the middle of March,” he said to Entertainment Weekly. “We’re in the horrible television limbo right now.”
With this recent development, one would hope that season 3 doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, at least for the sake of the show’s fans. Campbell previously said that the season 3 end will deliver a “big payoff”:
“The big payoff. It’s everything we’ve built up to. Hopefully the audience will go, ‘Fuckin’ A-right, Ash. Fuckin’ A-right.’ You know? Ash is gonna prove his stuff, man. This is it. This is the final showdown.”
While Ash vs Evil Dead appears to be dead now, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the end of the Evil Dead franchise. Campbell has previously hinted that if Ash vs Evil Dead was cancelled, there’s always a chance the series could return to the big screen:
“We’re going to see what the TV gods have in store for us. We’re ready either way. If they take us off the air, we can think about another movie. And if they don’t, we can just keep plugging away.”
Ash Vs Evil Dead has been the ride of a lifetime. Ash Williams was the role of a lifetime.
I will always be grateful to Starz, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and our tireless fans for the opportunity to revisit the franchise that launched our careers. Thank you! ? pic.twitter.com/oNmTopS1Ab
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) April 20, 2018