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Why Y: The Last Man was canceled before it could finish its first season: Cast options expired last Friday

  • Why did FX abruptly cancel the FX on Hulu series after it aired seven of its 10 episodes, with its season finale scheduled for Nov. 1? "Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that execs at FX had to make a decision on the future of the series by Oct. 15, which was the date that options on the cast of Y:TLM expired," reports The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg. "FX, which landed rights to the IP in 2015, picked the drama up to pilot in April 2018 and, three months later, cast Barry Keoghan and Diane Lane in leading roles. FX ordered Y to series in February 2019." As Goldberg points out, Y: The Last Man has been in the works since 2015. Showrunner and cast changes only exacerbated filming delays. And then the pandemic happened. "Because of the delays amid the showrunner and cast changes, FX had to extend options on original Y stars, including Lane," says Goldberg, adding: "Those cast extensions added up despite the fact that production came in under than its per-episode $8.5 million budget. (Showrunner Eliza Clark pitched a potential second season to FX execs in late September, after four of its 10 episodes had aired on the cabler’s Hulu hub and well after reviews for the series were published. (Y currently has a 73 percent rating among critics and 67 percent score with viewers on RottenTomatoes.com.) Ultimately, FX brass declined to pay $3 million to further extend options on the Y cast as execs did not want to leave the cast in limbo yet again. The cancellation decision was, per sources, not based on viewership figures as Hulu, like other streamers, does not release traditional ratings data. That means FX had little to no data on which to evaluate the series, including how it performed in its entirety over a certain timeframe, etc. While sources note there had been a drop-off among viewers on the FX on Hulu hub, it’s worth pointing out that mid-series declines are not uncommon as viewers have shifted to binge watching entire seasons of a show."

    TOPICS: Y: The Last Man, FX, FX on Hulu