Vietnam-era drama Quarry and Robert Kirkman’s horror drama Outcast, which went through a pilot stage, were caught in the middle of an original programming strategy shift at Cinemax, which late last year opted to return to the type of fare that launched its push into original primetime series: high-octane, action, pulpy, straight-to-series dramas done in a cost-effective way primarily as international co-productions.
“We are immensely proud of the work by all of the talented individuals who contributed to Quarry,” a rep for Cinemax said in a statement. “After evaluating ideas for continuing the story in the context of our future plans for Cinemax, we decided that it was best for all involved to end the narrative with Mac swimming across the Mississippi”.
As Quarry will not be producing a second season, and Cinemax has yet to schedule the filmed second season of Outcast. The network gave permission to its international partner, Fox International Channels, to air Season 2 first, and the drama premiered oversees last month.
Here is what Fuller said about Quarry‘s cancellation by Cinemax after one eight-episode season and efforts to find a new home. He created the neo-noir crime with Graham Gordy based on Max Allan Collins’ book series.
And so, after a protracted and agonizing process, we have final confirmation that Quarry will not be returning to television, There were several factors that contributed to the show’s ultimate fate, but a regime change at HBO and a re-(re?)-branding at Cinemax were of particular significance; we attempted to find another home for the show but were unable to do so. By virtually every metric (ratings, critical response) the show succeeded in all the ways a show needs to for a second season, but, as the erstwhile Head Ball Coach of my beloved Gamecocks was fond of saying, “it is what it is”. TV’s tough and life is tougher, and like the titular character of the show, the series itself was ultimately the victim of a system that is relentlessly unforgiving.
Fuller describes the project’s road to the screen, which started with him and Gordy coming across Collins’ Quarry novels in December 2011. The show was sold Cinemax in spring 2013, with the pilot shot in that summer, a series greenlighted in summer 2014 and a fall 2016 premiere. “Half-a-decade for what ultimately amounted to one season of television that I am immensely proud of personally and professionally,” Fuller wrote.
He goes on to provide a glimpse of their plans for a six-episode Season 2, which already had been written:
At the risk of sounding like I’m recording my Dashboard Confessional cover album, I’m gripped w/ a tremendous sense of sadness. Sad that we don’t get to keep telling the stories of Mac and Joni, of Buddy and Naomi (All Damon Herriman and Ann Dowd everything), of Ruth, Marcus, Little Lou, Karl, Moses, The Broker, and all the other characters so vividly and beautifully brought to life by our transcendent cast. (Season 2 was going to be set in 1973 and see Mac fully immersed in The Broker’s network, the arrival of Mac and Arthur’s war buddy Hall Prewitt and the trouble coming w/ him, Buddy asserting his individuality, all w/ the specter of Watergate looming.
We actually wrote the entire second season, 6 episodes, before receiving word that Cinemax was going in a different direction w/ their branding and content. Since we didn’t get a Season 2, let’s just speculate as to if Mac actually made it to the other side of the river.) It’s a sadness I will carry w/ me for the rest of my life, but there’s a tremendous measure of solace in the fact that I had the opportunity to work w/ some of the most immeasurably talented people in the world on something we all believed in and deeply, abidingly cared about. A Memphis-BBQ-platter sized thanks is due to our wonderful cast and crew who made our writing better than it had any business being, and to Max Allan Collins himself, who trusted us w/ a character he’s lived w/ for 40 years: thank you, sir. I hope we didn’t mess it up too badly.
If you watched the show: thank you. If you loved it, spread the word. If you didn’t see it, I can’t quite imagine you read this far (thank you!) but it’s available on iTunes, VUDU, MaxGO, Amazon, etc.