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AMC may be planning to keep The Walking Dead franchise going for at least another decade, but it's obvious that zombie TV isn't quite as popular as it once was. Case in point: Syfy has cancelled its post-apocalyptic action-horror Z Nation after five seasons, diminishing fans' hopes that Season 6 was on the way. Thankfully, the producers are still moving forward on expanding the universe with the prequel series Black Summer.
Producer David Michael Latt was the one who shared the initial news of the cancellation online, posting a video alongside others who have poured blood, sweat and tears into Z Nation for the past five seasons. (Not to mention some fire and ice.) In Latt's words:
We wanted to tell you face to face, in person, that we were not renewed for Season 6. We're stopping at Season 5. We're very sad, but we're also really grateful with the opportunities that we had on the show. We loved interacting with everyone. This is not the end of anything. This is just the beginning of a lot of things.
David Michael Latt's comments are very encouraging in and of themselves, even if fans probably won't be altogether calmed by them. Ahead of its 2014 premiere, Z Nation may not have seemed like a show primed to build up a rabid fanbase, but it's precisely those dedicated viewers that kept Syfy in the zombie business for five seasons.
In a similar vein, Z Nation's popularity spawned plans to get the prequel series up and running, and it was announced during the 2018 SDCC that Netflix had ordered up eight episodes of the prequel spinoff series Black Summer. Thankfully, Syfy's cancellation will have no effect on the follow-up series' status, and David Michael Latt confirmed the good news in the video that Black Summer is still on the way.
Elsewhere on Twitter, a disappointed fan voiced his hopes for Z Nation to get picked up elsewhere, saying it was sad to see everyone on the video ready to let the show go. Latt delivered a solid response should stoke the excitement for those wanting to see more from this universe.
How could we be sad when we were given so much? We were so grateful for every season Syfy said yes. Plus we have a spin off with @Netflix that u will LOVE. It's an embarrassment of riches. Now excuse me while I cry in my pillow (off camera).
Having brought over a Walking Dead alum for Season 5, Z Nation may have amassed a lot of hyped fans over the years, but that group hasn't been the most stringent about watching live episodes as they air. The average viewership has been dwindling from year to year, with both Season 4 and Season 5 bringing in between 500,000-600,000 viewers an episode.
Perhaps more damning, Z Nation's average demo rating with viewers aged 18-49 has also sunken lower than desired. Though Season 3 regularly earned a 0.8 rating or above, which is sometimes as solid as can be for cable dramas, Z Nation demographic topped out at a 0.65 in Season 4, and hasn't yet hit above a 0.54 in Season 5.
Fans can watch the video below to see David Michael Latt making the cancellation announcement, assuming that won't just depress everybody.
For those wondering what Black Summer is going to be about, it will center on Jaime King as a mother who sets out on a horrific journey to find her daughter in a world that's falling apart during the zombie apocalypse. King's character will team up with a small group of other American refugees to try and stay alive. The show is said to be more of a throwback to classic zombie horror, as opposed to the more self-aware angle taken by Z Nation proper.
Z Nation will conclude its fifth and final season on Syfy on Friday, December 28, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to check out "The End of Everything" to see how the story wraps up, and stay tuned for more info about Black Summer as it's released. As always, keep up with everything else hitting TV soon with our midseason premiere schedule.