Television

‘Moonhaven’ Canceled: AMC+ Reverses Season 2 Renewal Decision Amid Programming Write-Downs

The moon colony is closing down as AMC+ will not proceed with a second season of Moonhaven. Word of the cancellation comes four months after the dystonic sci-fi series was renewed for a second season and days after AMC Networks announced sweeping cost-cutting measures as CEO Christina Spade stepped down, which included laying off 20% of its U.S. staff, and write-downs for up to $475 million as it restructures its business. Up to $400 million of that is for content-related moves the company calls “strategic programming assessments”

In a SEC filing, AMC Networks said that “programming assessments pertain to a broad mix of owned and licensed content, including legacy television series and films that will no longer be in active rotation on the company’s linear or digital platforms.”

The reverse of Moonhaven’s renewal decision is part of that effort, I hear.

The show’s demise is still surprising given the fact that AMC Networks touted its strong performance, and, in light of that, I heard the company considered a two-season pickup before going with a six-episode second season order in late July. At the time, AMC Networks said that Moonhaven was its number one most-watched AMC+ exclusive series and number most-watched new series in the streamer’s history behind Dark Winds.

Created by Peter Ocko, who served as showrunner, Moonhaven is focused on a utopian colony on the Moon that may hold the keys to preserving life on Earth.

It stars Dominic Monaghan, Emma McDonald, Amara Karan, Ayelet Zurer, Joe Manganiello, Kadeem Hardison and Yazzmin Newell.  

Set 100 years in the future, the series follows Bella Sway (McDonald), a lunar cargo pilot and smuggler who finds herself accused of a crime and marooned on Moonhaven, a utopian community on a 500 square mile Garden of Eden built on the moon to find solutions to the problems that will soon end civilization on Mother Earth. A skeptic in paradise, Bella is sucked into a conspiracy to gain control of the artificial intelligence responsible for Moonhaven’s miracles and teams with a local detective, Paul Serno (Monaghan), to stop the forces that want to destroy Earth’s last hope before they are destroyed themselves. Tomm Schultz (Manganiello), an ex-military with a philosophical bent, is the right hand of the lead Earth diplomat to the moon, who finds his ambitions changed when he’s injected with a mind-altering moon drug. 

Produced by AMC Studios, Moonhaven is exec produced by Ocko and Deb Spera.

“I couldn’t be more excited to return to the Moon and continue our story with this amazing cast and crew,” Ocko said at the time of the Season 2 renewal. “AMC+ has been a wonderful partner in bringing our world to life, and we can’t wait to continue the journey.”

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