The fantasy series, inspired by L. Frank Baum’s “Wizard of Oz” tales, has been canceled after one season, Variety has confirmed.
“Emerald City” becomes the second freshman show to be yanked at NBC, following “Powerless,” which was essentially canceled with the network pulling the show from its schedule. Over the next week, leading up to Upfronts, network executives will be tasked with axing more bubble shows.
Debuting in January, “Emerald City” never found an audience over its 10 episodes. Opening to 4.5 million viewers, the drama dipped week-to-week to a season low of 2.3 million viewers, slightly ticking up for its finale with an audience of just under 2.9 million.
“Emerald City” was a darker take on the classic “Wizard of Oz,” following 20-year-old Dorothy Gale, played by Adria Arjona, and her K9 police dog from Kansas who, after a tornado, are transported to another world far away — a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, wicked witches, dark magic, and a bloody battle for supremacy. Vincent D’Onofrio starred as the wizard, and other cast members are Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ana Ularu, Gerran Howell, Jordan Loughran, and Mido Hamada.
The show had a long road to getting on the air. It first landed a straight-to-series order for the 2014-2015 season, but NBC opted to pass on the ambitious series, which at that time, was being developed by Matthew Arnold and Josh Friedman. Then, for the next season, the network retooled the series with David Schulner, giving yet another straight-to-series 10-episode order in spring 2015, though NBC did not put “Emerald City” on the schedule until early 2017.
In Variety‘s review, critic Maureen Ryan said the unavoidable comparison to “Wizard of Oz” was the series’ problem from the start. “In look and tone, it does not imitate the classic 1939 film starring Judy Garland, but this darker take on the story remains so familiar that, although it’s gorgeous, there’s too little tension and suspense driving it,” she wrote.
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