Cinemax has made it official — Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick will not produce more seasons beyond the two that already had aired. Clive Owen, who starred in the first two seasons, had said that he was done, though the network had left the door slightly open for another installment with a new lead actor. Cinemax will now focus completely on its recalibrated original programming strategy — launched recently with the pickups of new Strike Back series and Rellik — as the network is returning to the type of fare that launched its push into original primetime series: fun, high-octane, action, pulpy, straight-to-series dramas done in a cost-effective way primarily as international co-productions. Here is the statement by Cinemax’s programming chief Kary Antholis:
“After a critically acclaimed two-season run of The Knick on Cinemax, we will not be going forward with additional episodes of the series,” said Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming. “Despite our pride in and affection for the series, as well as our respect for and gratitude towards Steven Soderbergh and his team, we have decided to return Cinemax to its original primetime series fare of high-octane action dramas, many of which will be internationally co-produced.”
The Knick was part of a push into high-end, homegrown drama series initiative at HBO sibling Cinemax. It started with Banshee, which ran for four seasons, followed by The Knick, Outcast, whose second season doesn’t have a premiere date yet, and Quarry, whose renewal for a second season appears unlikely. In an interview with Deadline in December, when Cinemax’s shift to action drama co-productions was announced, Antholis called The Knick “one of the most rewarding creative experiences of my career,” “Critics loved the show, and I can’t tell you how many studio executives around town have told me it’s their favorite show on television, but it did not find an audience at the level that Banshee did. Even though in terms of an HBO show, The Knick is a modestly priced show, in terms of a Cinemax show, it started to throw our budget out of whack.”
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