Showtime has revealed the fate of American Rust.
The network announced on Tuesday that there will be no American Rust season 2. The cancellation comes almost three months after the show wrapped its nine-episode freshman run last November.
“We can confirm that American Rust will not be moving forward with a second season,” Showtime said in a statement. “We would like to thank our partners at [production company] Boat Rocker, our talented showrunner Dan Futterman and the rest of the wonderful writers, and our amazing cast led by Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney.”
Based on the novel of the same name by Philipp Meyer, American Rust follows Del Harris (Jeff Daniels), a complicated and compromised chief of police who is forced to decide how far he’s willing to go when the son (Alex Neustaedter) of the woman he loves (Maura Tierney) is accused of murder. Set in the fictional and economically devastated Pennsylvania steel town of Buell, the drama also stars David Alvarez, Bill Camp, Julia Mayorga, Mark Pellegrino, and Rob Yang, among many others.
In a statement confirming the American Rust’s cancellation to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Futterman expressed his gratitude for Boat Rocker, Showtime, and the entire cast and crew of the show.
“I’m deeply grateful to both Boat Rocker Studios and Showtime for the opportunity to make American Rust the way we wanted to make it: on location in Allegheny, Washington, and Fayette Counties,” Futterman said. “Our crew, both local to Pittsburgh and from New York and Los Angeles, was talented, committed, incredibly hard-working. Our cast, flown in from the coasts as well as local … was a dream. I am so proud of what we made.”
Futterman went on to reveal that the show’s creative team was actually in the process of developing the then-potential American Rust season 2 when Showtime decided to pull the plug on the series.
“Adam Rapp and I, along with the rest of our writers, were in the midst of creating what I believe was going to be an even better season than the first. [Then] a business decision was made last week not to produce that second season,” revealed Futterman, who admitted that he’s “heartbroken by that decision.”
Though Showtime didn’t reveal the reason behind the show’s cancellation, American Rust’s disappointing reviews didn’t help the series secure a second season. Compared to its fellow Showtime series Yellowjackets that boasts a 78 Metascore on Metacritic and a 100% fresh rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, American Rust only has a 48 Metascore on Metacritic and a 28% rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
The timing of American Rust might have also hurt the show, as it has been unfavorably compared to the critically acclaimed HBO limited series Mare of Easttown, which ended its seven-episode run roughly four months before the debut of American Rust. In comparison to the Emmy-winning Mare of Easttown, American Rust featured a more generic rustbelt setting and largely lacked regional specificity, including any trace of the Western Pennsylvania dialect.
Though American Rust producers may try to shop the series to other outlets, the odds of the show getting saved by another network or streaming service is slim.