AMC has opted not to move forward with the series “Demascus,” Variety has confirmed.
The show was ordered to series at the cabler back in February 2022 and had completed production but will no longer air on AMC. The news comes after Variety exclusively reported that AMC was also not proceeding with Season 2 of the legal drama “61st Street” or with its planned series adaptation of the novel “Invitation to a Bonfire.”
The decisions were made as part of cost cutting measures announced by AMC in December 2022, in which the company stated it would take write-downs for up to $475 million. That figure included $400 million for “strategic programming assessments” and $75 million for “organizational restructuring costs,” per an SEC filing. Just prior to that announcement, AMC Networks CEO Christina Spade abruptly departed the company after less than three months in the role. James L. Dolan was then named interim executive chairman by the board of directors shortly thereafter. Dolan is slated to remain in his new role until March 6, 2023 or until the board finds a new CEO, whichever comes first.
Dolan previously warned AMC staffers about significant cutbacks at the company in a memo following Spade’s exit. “We are primarily a content company and the mechanisms for the monetization of content are in disarray,” he wrote at the time. Dolan also spoke of “a large-scale layoff as well as cuts to every operating area of AMC Networks” that would be implemented. To that end, AMC’s unscripted chief Marco Bresaz exited, while AMC also reversed its decision to renew the drama series “Moonhaven” for a second season.
However, it is possible the scrapped shows could find life on other platforms, as AMC stated in the SEC filing “The Company may realize some future licensing and other revenue associated with some of the owned titles.”
“Demascus” is a half-hour series that focuses on the title character, described as “a 33-year-old Black man who goes on a journey of self-discovery using an innovative new technology that allows him to experience different versions of his own life.”
Okieriete Onaodowan, Janet Hubert, Caleb Eberhardt and Shakira Ja’nai Paye star in the series with Martin Lawrence appearing in a recurring role. It was created by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm. Kirk Moore serves as showrunner and executive producer. Mark Johnson’s Gran Via Productions also executive produces, with Myki Bajaj of Gran Via producing.
Deadline first reported the “Demascus” news.