Hope is still alive for the Courtney B. Vance series 61st Street. After AMC suddenly and unceremoniously pulled the plug on the show as its second season was nearing completion, executive producers revealed they are currently shopping the series around to other outlets.
61st Street was one of two cancellations by the network on Thursday, joining the in-development Invitation to a Bonfire. It originally seemed like AMC had high hopes for the drama, originally ordering it to two seasons which allowed both Season 1 and 2 to shoot simultaneously. Although it was hardly a reviews juggernaut, it scored a 71% from critics and 68% from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes and was largely praised for the performances of Vance and his co-stars. That wasn’t enough to save it from cost-cutting measures by the company as they looked to take $400 million in content write-downs.
The team behind the drama believes in the drama to find success elsewhere though. In a joint statement from creator Peter Moffat, Vance, David Shanks, and Alana Mayo, the group reaffirmed their love for the world built through the show and committed to finding the show a home for the foreseeable future:
Working on 61st Street was a labor of love for everyone who had the honor of being a part of telling this extraordinary story. We are grateful that viewers were drawn to the characters and their respective journeys and expressed how much they were looking forward to seeing the story unfold in Season 2. The great thing about telling meaningful and empowering stories is that there are no limitations. We as a team will work hard to find 61st Street a home that it deserves, one that will look to incorporate the series into the fabric of its content and share 61st Street with the world.
61st Street centers on a high school athlete named Moses Johnson (Tosin Cole) who gets entangled in the corrupt Chicago justice system after the police suspect him of being affiliated with a local gang. He faces the wrath of the department as they try to tie him to the death of an officer shot amidst a drug bust gone wrong. Aside from Vance and Cole, the series features a stellar cast including Academy Award nominee Aunjanue Ellis, Mark O’Brien, Holt McCallany, Andrene Ward-Hammond, and Bentley Green. It also featured a high-profile production team with Moffat, Shanks, Mayo, Jeff Freilich, and Hilary Salmon as executive producers alongside Michael B. Jordan and Elizabeth Raposo through the former’s Outlier Society banner.
The Cuts Have Kept Coming From AMC
As 61st Street searches for a new home, AMC has continued with its cuts. The Sci-Fi comedy Demascus from acclaimed playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul executive producer Mark Johnson was the latest to get cut while in production. Moonhaven was also axed despite a Season 2 renewal by the network. It’s possible that several of these projects will also start looking for other buyers outside of AMC.