Few shows are ever entirely safe when it comes to their future on the small screen, and fans often wait in dread for news of whether or not a series will get another batch of episodes. For fans of Amazon's Z: The Beginning of Everything, the worry was done for a while, as the show had scored a renewal for a second season. Christina Ricci was going to be back as Zelda Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, Amazon has now reversed its decision to give Z another round of streaming drama. Z: The Beginning of Everything has officially been cancelled by Amazon after only one season.
The news of the cancellation now comes as a big surprise, as the Z team was hard at work on the second season. In fact, the show was already in preproduction, with the writers prepping scripts for the second season. Amazon reportedly spent approximately $7 million on Season 2 before deciding to pull the plug, according to THR. Amazon's move to cancel Z: The Beginning of Everything comes at quite a cost.
I have to wonder if filming Z was spectacularly expensive in the first season, given that Amazon was willing to write off $7 million in investment in the second season. Amazon is evidently attempting to reduce spending on original series movie forward; reducing spending by giving up on $7 million seems rather odd unless the costs of production would have been incredibly high. If Amazon was going to need to shell out millions and millions more for Z Season 2, perhaps writing off that $7 million was the way to go. Z has never been a terribly special effects-heavy series, but the period setting may have been costly to reproduce.
As surprising as the sudden cancellation is, it may not come as a shock to the folks who never expected Z: The Beginning of Everything to win a renewal in the first place. Although Amazon does not release ratings or viewership information to the public, it's no secret that first season had a score of only 61 on Metacritic, which is lower than the Metacritic score of Good Girls Revolt, which Amazon had already cancelled.
It's possible that a report claiming Amazon Studios was biased in favor of series created by men on top of commentary about the cancellation of Good Girls Revolt motivated Amazon to give Z: The Beginning of Everything a second shot. If that's the case, execs at Amazon may have simply decided that the cost of a Season 2 outweighed any other reason for continuing the series. In any case, Good Girls Revolt and Z are not the only Amazon shows to get the axe after only a single season. Mad Dogs and Betas were also cancelled early, and Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes may be next.
For all the shows that will be back on the small screen in the not-too-distant future, be sure to take a gander at our fall TV premiere schedule.