Mercy Street will not be back for a third season, PBS and producers announced days after airing the Civil War era drama’s Season 2 finale, citing funding and “the complicated nature of aligning production timelines.”
PBS’ first original American drama in more than a decade, Mercy Street followed doctors, nurses, soldiers, as well as free, enslaved and contraband African Americans just south of the Mason Dixon Line, in Alexandria, VA, during the Civil War. Josh Radnor starred as Dr. Jedediah Foster and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Nurse Mary Phinney.
The first season reached 14 million viewers over six episodes (Live + 7), making it the second-highest-rated drama for the 2015-16 TV season on PBS, behind jet-fueled lead-in, Downton Abbey. Season 2, which premiered on January 22 and ended on March 5, has attracted 6.5 million L+7 viewers for the first three episodes.
“We sought to bring a time and place to life that is so important to understanding American history, and in a way that was meaningful, authentic and entertaining, EP David Zucker said of the series.
“Together, we delivered twelve hours of compelling and worthwhile storytelling which we all take pride in,” added EP David Zabel. “It was five years in the making and we are grateful to PBS for its loyal support.”
Mercy Street was executive produced by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Gladiator, Thelma and Louise, The Good Wife); Zucker (BrainDead, The Good Wife, The Man in the High Castle) of Scott Free; Lisa Q. Wolfinger (Desperate Crossing, the Untold Story of the Mayflower) and Zabel (ER).