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USA Cancels ‘Damnation,’ Pulls Plug on ‘American Rust’

USA Network has canceled drama “Damnation” after one season. The NBCUniversal-owned cable channel also on Thursday pulled the plug on “American Rust,” which received a straight-to-series order just two months ago.

In its lone season, “Damnation” attracted few viewers. Co-produced by Universal Cable Production and Netflix, which had streaming rights to the series, the show starred Logan Marshall-Green, Killian Scott, Chasten Harmon, Sarah Jones, Melinda Page Hamilton, and Joe Adler in a drama set in 1930s middle America. The show was executive produced by Tony Tost, James Mangold, Guymon Casady, and Daniel Rappaport.

Season one averaged a 0.18 rating in the 18-49 demo according to Nielsen live-plus-ame day numbers and 682,000 total viewers.

In her review of the series for Variety, Sonia Saraiya wrote, “The trouble with ‘Damnation,’ if it can be summed up into one problem, is that the show is a clear homage to HBO’s golden-age drama “Deadwood,” which brought context and color to the Western in a way that still feels indelibly brilliant. “Damnation” leans on many of the older show’s devices — twinkly, ethereal banjo; a brothel populated with a couple of tough, no-nonsense ladies; the expletive ‘cocksucker’; even a protagonist named Seth, torn between violence and goodness. But ultimately it is quite a different show. ‘Damnation’ is set 60-odd years later — outside of the context of American expansion, the Civil War, and the gold rush — and in a very different part of the country. Iowa isn’t exactly the Wild West, no matter how many cowboy hats the characters wear.

USA ordered an adaptation of Philipp Meyer’s novel “American Rust” in November. The book is set in a small Pennsylvania rust belt town and explores the rise and fall of a crime-riddled community as seen through the eyes of a sheriff with a history of violence.

Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman, who serve as executive producers and co-creators of AMC’s “The Son” series with Meyer, wrote the pilot for “American Rust” with Meyer and were set as executive producers. Michael De Luca also was set to executive produce via Michael De Luca Productions.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported news of the demise of “American Rust.”

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