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'The Mist' Canceled After Its First Season

by John Rosca / Sep 28, 2017 08:31 AM EDT
The Mist Official Trailer "From a Story by Stephen King"

Spike TV's "The Mist" has been canceled after a single season, as the Viacom-owned cable channel is in transition to becoming the Paramount Network. An adaptation of a Stephen King novella, "The Mist" failed to capture much of an audience despite the cachet of its association with the best-selling author.

The cancellation of "The Mist" coming on the heels of the success of "It" underlines the difficulty of predicting the performance of Stephen King adaptations. "It" was a massive blockbuster that broke the record for the highest-grossing opening weekend for a horror movie, notes Deadline. But only a month before, the film version of "The Dark Tower" flopped badly.

"The Mist" was a production by the Weinstein Company's Dimension Television, which got screenwriter Christian Torpe to handle the storytelling duties. The show's cast included Morgan Spector, Alyssa Sutherland, and Frances Conroy.

Dimension Television reached a deal with Spike TV to air the series, which premiered on the network on June 22. The Hollywood Reporter says that the network's president Kevin Kay kept open the possibility of airing the second season of "The Mist" on the Paramount Network next year, depending on the show's performance.

"The Mist" soon proved a commercial disappointment. According to Variety, "The Mist" scored a mere 0.14 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 462,000 viewers per episode in Nielsen's Live+Same Day ratings. That signaled the demise of "The Mist."

TV critics' response to the show was decidedly lukewarm and occasionally harsh. Vinnie Mancuso of the A.V. Club has savaged the cast's performances. "With the notable exception of Alyssa Sutherland," said Mancuso, "...The Mist's cast seems stuck between stiff as a Church pew and inhumanly over-the-top."

Glenn Garvin of Reason Online faults writer Torpe for the show's wrong-headed alterations of King's story. "Virtually every one of his changes conspires to rob the work of its gut-punch power," said Garvin.

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