Remember when I said I feared that Cult would go the same way Night Stalker had? Sometimes I hate being right.
Cult has been pulled from the CW’s lineup after only seven of its 13 episodes had aired. Night Stalker, ABC’s 2005 sci-fi thriller whose lead character was also a journalist, was pulled after just six episodes. Despite the potential of their storylines, both shows suffered dismal ratings.
Even I have to say, watching Cult every week was becoming a chore. As much as I liked the cast and was intrigued by the concept, the whole thing felt poorly paced and disjointed. But every week I told myself, “We’re not even 10 episodes in. There’s still time for this to get really good.”
Creator Rockne S. O’Bannon sent out a tweet after the show’s cancellation was announced that suggested exactly that: had the network held on for the remainder of the season, viewers very well may have been satisfied. The CW had originally been so satisfied with Cult’s final five episodes, they’d dubbed them “outstanding.” Though, at this point, it seems like a lot of viewers had tuned out anyway.
Cult’s leading man, Matt Davis (Jeff Sefton), took to Twitter to express his disappointment in the show’s marketing campaign. With a hefty dose of sarcasm, Davis implied that the confusing campaign is responsible for the show’s failure. He followed up by thanking the fans who hung on for the ride anyway.
The CW had moved Cult from Tuesdays to Fridays, but still the ratings continued to fall. The last episode to air, “Suffer the Children” had just 620,000 viewers.
I understand that there is a business aspect to this, but when a show is canceled so young, it leaves hanging the viewers it did manage to hook. There were enough questions I wanted answered to keep me watching, despite the show’s poor execution. Was Steven Rae a member of this cult of kids that Detective Sakelik was a part of? What are they trying to achieve? Will Nate survive? What happened to Skye’s father? And what the heck does, “Well hey, these things just snap right off,” mean?
I’m a fan of closure. Remember Ringer? Also not the best the CW’s done, but it at least ran its full season, which made it a lot easier to accept it wouldn’t be coming back. The fate of Cult’s remaining episodes is still undetermined. Deadline suggests that the episodes may eventually be made available online. Or perhaps we’ll just have to wait for a complete DVD set.
What do you think would have kept Cult on air (if anything)? Leave a comment and let us know!