FX has joined the host of networks cancelling shows, opting to end the television adaptation of Kindred after just one season. The news follows about a month and a half after the show debuted exclusively on Hulu as part of FX on Hulu. According to The Hollywood Reporter, FX has not publicly provided a reason for the cancellation. However, creator and showrunner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is expected to shop the show to other outlets.
Based on Octavia E. Butler‘s renowned sci-fi novel, Kindred follows Dana (Mallori Johnson), a modern-day Black woman who is suddenly pulled back in time to the antebellum South. When she arrives, she saves a young white boy and son of a plantation owner, Rufus (David Alexander Kaplan), from drowning. After a brief stint in the past, she returns home. However, she continues to be pulled back, with each stay growing progressively longer than the last.
As the show didn’t adapt the entirety of Butler’s novel, Season 1 left quite the cliffhanger. Dana and Olivia (Sheria Irving) return to the 2010s, where Dana finds herself alone. She and her aunt Denise (Eisa Davis) seek out a registry with their ancestors’ information, where Dana learns that Alice (Abigail Shannon) is the person who has children with Rufus — whose mother took him away from the plantation. Soon after, Dana learns that Olivia was declared dead 24 years earlier. Meanwhile, Kevin (Micah Stock) is trapped in the past and heads to Olivia’s house where Alice, on the offensive, is waiting for Olivia to return. He also learns that Dana and Olivia went back.
In an interview with Collider, Jacobs-Jenkins shared why he chose to end the season the way he did, saying he “wanted to make sure I didn’t try to cram too much into one season.” He wanted to give the story the “space and time” it needed as opposed to covering the entirety of the story. He always knew where the season would end, saying:
“I knew where in the book it felt like the end of a season to me. And we knew that we were pitched towards that turn, early on in the writers’ room. The thing about the concept of the book is that we drop into this kid’s life at very different times in his life. Suddenly, then, you’d have to have a completely different cast, halfway through the season. I felt like that possibly would’ve been a little too jarring for the viewer to take on.”
Kindred was created, showrun, written, and executive produced by Jacobs-Jenkins. It also stars Gayle Rankin, Sophina Brown, Ryan Kwanten, and Austin Smith. Additional executive producers include Ari Handel of Protozoa Pictures, Darren Aronofsky, Courtney Lee-Mitchell, Jules Jackson, Joe Weisberg, Joel Fields, and Ernestine Walker. FX Productions produced.
All eight episodes of Kindred are streaming exclusively on Hulu.