Sam Raimi’s track record hasn’t been all that great recently. He seems to be doing okay with Spartacus: Blood and Sand but his “Drag Me To Hell” movie was a dud and now his other fantasy television show, Legend of the Seeker, seems to have been dropped from the fall lineup. Rumors hit the Web this week that ABC Domestic Television is pulling the plug on the show, which is filmed in New Zealand, where Raimi and partner Rob Tapert once launched the mega showsHercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.
ABC was behind the show after Tribune Broadcasting announced it would not pick up Legend of the Seeker for a third season. Tribune’s departure seemed a small loss to fans who complain constantly about Tribune’s brutal treatment of genre shows. But that is neither here nor there. ABC Domestic Television ran into a dead end when it came to finding a new distributor for the show.
Even the SyFy Channel, which carries such dreck as Merlin, decided to stay with the lame and cheaply presentable pseudo-medieval fantasy rather than pick up the Seeker’s higher production quality (and costs). Author Terry Goodkind, on whose books the Seeker series is based, has remained quiet throughout the brouhaha, perhaps because he was stung by the resentment of his hardcore book fans towards the Raimi/Tapert production.
Although the show was unfairly compared to Hercules: The Legendary Journeysand Xena: Warrior Princess, it seems in retrospect that perhaps Raimi and Tapert should have leaned on that formula a little more rather than try to be faithful to Goodkind’s idea of serious fantasy.
Meanwhile, back on the Internet, fans of the TV show are preparing a massive protest campaign that is sure to become a PR headache for ABC Domestic Television. Several resourceful fans have dug up the names and email addresses of many Disney/ABC employees and they are collecting signatures to demand that the show be given a third season.
If the show is so popular, then why was it cancelled? Tribune’s machinations may explain part of the problem but it could also be that Hulu and iTunes played a part in the Seeker’s failure to complete his quest. Is it time for ABC to launch a direct-to-Internet channel? Maybe that is a suggestion that the Seeker fans should put forward. It could help ABC save face and maybe spark a revolution in television programming that some feel is inevitable anyway.
In : Season 3
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