The CW filled out its primetime schedule with series produced elsewhere after running low on original content over the past year, with series ranging from the DC Comics-based Swamp Thing to CBS All Access' Tell Me A Story, starring a CW alum. Now, a show that premiered on the network just a few weeks ago has been cancelled by its original network, despite the previous renewal, following behind-the-scenes controversy. Viewers, say goodbye to Trickster at the end of its first season!
Trickster premiered on Canada's CBC back in October 2020 and scored an early Season 2 renewal before premiering on The CW on January 12, but TVLine reports that CBC has cancelled the series after controversy surrounding co-creator and director Michelle Latimer, who falsely claimed to be Indigenous for 20 years. A representative from CBC addressed the decision to cancel in a statement, saying:
We have had many conversations over the last few weeks with a view to continuing production on a second season of Trickster. Those conversations included producers, writers, actors, and the author of the books on which Trickster is based. Fully respecting everyone’s perspective, season two will not move forward as planned unfortunately.
The CW will presumably continue airing the remaining episodes of Trickster Season 1, with what is now the series finale scheduled to air on February 16. The show follows Joel Oulette as Jared, an Indigenous teenager who works an after-school job with a side of cooking ecstasy to try and keep his family afloat. Things change when strange things begin happening around Jared, including talking ravens, doppelgangers, and skin monsters.
The Trickster TV show is based on Eden Robinson's coming-of-age novel Son of a Trickster, which is the first in a Trickster trilogy that will be completed at some point this year, so there presumably would have been source material for at least three seasons of the adaptation.
CBC garnered criticism on social media for cancelling a show starring and staffed by Indigenous people due to the controversy surrounding Michelle Latimer, prompting the network to state that they "are as committed as ever to telling other important Indigenous stories" and has "eight such scripted projects in development." As for Latimer, she told Variety:
One of the greatest joys of my life was seeing the world of Trickster realized on screen. In December, I stepped down from my position in the hopes that the show would continue. I was not involved in the decision that was announced today and am sad to hear that Season 2 has been cancelled. I am incredibly proud of the entire team that worked so hard to bring Trickster to life and I will forever be grateful to the cast and crew that poured their hearts and souls into its creation.
While some other shows have managed to be rescued from cancellation by other platforms, the reasons for Trickster getting the axe from CBC may mean that no network or streaming service will come in for the save, including The CW. The show's latest broadcast on The CW scored only an 0.1 in the key 18-49 age demographic, according to TV Series Finale, with an audience of 400,000.
Even on the broadcast network that traditionally turns up considerably lower ratings than the likes of ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, those aren't the kinds of numbers likely to result in a rescue. For now, you can find new episodes of Trickster on The CW on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET. Some of The CW's most highly-anticipated series of the season are back already or will return soon, and you can find the dates you need on our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.