‘Manhattan’ Canceled After Two Seasons at WGN America

Manhattan” has been canceled with WGN America opting not to go forth with a third season of the period drama, Variety has learned.

The drama, which premiered in July 2014, marked network’s second original series, following “Salem.”

Created by Sam Shaw (“Masters of Sex”), the Skydance Television and Lionsgate Television co-production starred John Benjamin Hickey and Ashley Zukerman as physicists working on America’s atomic bomb project during World War II. Olivia Williams and Rachel Brosnahan starred as their respective wives with Mamie Gummer, William Petersen and Neve Campbell having joined the cast of the sophomore season.

Shaw served as exec producer with Thomas Schlamme, Dustin Thomason, David Ellison, Dana Golberg and Marcy Ross.

“After careful consideration, we have reached the very difficult decision not to move forward with a third season of ‘Manhattan,'” said Matt Cherniss, president and GM of WGN America and Tribune Studios. “We are proud of this critically acclaimed series, an extraordinary original drama, and are deeply disappointed that such a wonderful show could not find a larger audience. We thank the immensely talented Sam Shaw and Thomas Schlamme, along with the exceptional cast and crew and our great partners at Lionsgate and Skydance, for crafting a masterful series.  We are equally grateful to the dedicated fans for their support over the last two seasons.”

Lionsgate TV’s chairman Kevin Beggs commented, “Sam Shaw and Tommy Schlamme gave us a tremendously powerful television series chronicling the lives of those immersed in the race to build an atomic bomb in the dog days of World War II. Their masterful depictions of small victories, devastating betrayals, and the high-price of freedom will never be forgotten — just as the monstrous power wrought by splitting the atom indelibly scarred our world forever. We are thankful to our partners at Skydance, WGN America, Tribune Entertainment, and Hulu for making the series possible and to our many fans in the US and across the globe for watching along with us.”

“It has been an honor to work with the exceptionally talented creative team of ‘Manhattan,’ led by Tommy Schlamme, Sam Shaw and our partners at Lionsgate, WGN, Tribune and Hulu” added Skydance’s president Marcy Ross. “Thank you to the fans of Manhattan across the globe who have supported the critically acclaimed series over the last two years.”

The second season of “Manhattan” averaged about 240,000 viewers in “live plus same-day” estimates from Nielsen, with its finale in December falling to 201,000.

Even with the cancellation, WGN America’s original slate is amping up with new dramas “Outsiders” and “Underground,” which premieres this March.

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