Starz recently announced that the upcoming third season of Da Vinci’s Demons will be the period drama’s last. The series, which has been off the air for almost year and a half, has been a respectable performer, so the decision to end it before seeing how Season 3 does was somewhat of a surprise.
It came down to having stronger shows that appeal to the same demographics, CEO Chris Albrecht said. “We really believe in serving underserved audiences in the premium cable space,” he said, noting the network’s success with female-oriented The White Queen and Outlander and black-skewing comedy Survivor’s Remorse. “The key is having shows that target a specific audience that becomes really passionate about the show.”
Albrecht said he loved Da Vinci’s cast and loved working with series creator David S. Goyer but noted Goyer’s busy feature schedule, which led to a showrunner transition on the show after the first two seasons.
Meanwhile, “We have the success with Black Sails, which in some ways appeals to some of the same audiences, and while we have a lot of fan boys for Da Vinci’s Demons, we have what may be the fan boy series of all time in Ash vs. the Evil Dead.“
The decision to end Da Vinci’s Demons was made after Season 3 was shot, so the producers didn’t necessarily plan the season finale as a series finale. Still, Albrecht promises “a very satisfying conclusion” and a satisfying way for fans to get to it by getting access to the entire final season on-demand the day of the premiere.
He says that “if we didn’t stop now, the story should’ve gone through the next point, and we would’ve been in it for at least a couple of more seasons.”
Starz brass ultimately decided that now was a good time to end the show. “There is no bad news here,” Albrecht said, disagreeing with the c-word (as in cancellation) used for a show like Da Vinci’s Demons. “The show ran its course. If a show runs for 3 seasons, it doesn’t mean it’s not a success, especially in the premium space.”