AMC Cancels Series From Breaking Bad Producer

AMC has canceled the upcoming science fiction comedy, Demascus.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

martin lawrence demascus

AMC has canceled the sci-fi comedy series Demascus. Deadline reports that despite the show’s production being wrapped, the network has included it in a programming write-down that would cut costs and garner tax write-offs. The show was executive produced by Mark Johnson, who served in the same capacity for AMC hits Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

The network made the announcement that it would be seeking $400 million in properties to include in the write-down in December 2022 and saw the removal of several properties from the channel and its streaming services. AMC ordered Demascus and another show, Invitation to a Bonfire, in February 2022 and completed the filming on it, but both were canceled before they even aired. Also caught up in the mix are the second seasons of Moonhaven and 61st Street.

The show was created by playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and cast stars: Okieriete Onaodowan, Janet Hubert, Caleb Eberhardt, and Shakira Ja’nai Paye. Martin Lawrence was to appear in a recurring role in the story of a 33-year-old Black man’s explorations into his own mind using the emerging field of digital psychology. The science fiction premise of AMC’s Demascus overarches a multi-genre story about different perspectives and finding one’s true self as its titular character experiences his own life in different alternate realities.

amc demascus

AMC has had a busy year, not just of axing shows like Demascus but also of releasing new content. After famously acquiring the rights to two Anne Rice properties, they released the series Interview with a Vampire and Mayfair Witches within three months of each other. Mayfair Witches premieres on the network on January 8.

The Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm script will never get a premiere from AMC since Demascus was included as one of the properties in its write-off package. Many movie studios are making similar moves after Covid-19, since social distancing meant theaters were closed or only partially open as the world dealt with the pandemic. Demascus is being shopped around and may potentially find a new home if AMC can find a buyer.

Warner Bros. recently made similar moves with many of its properties with catastrophic results for fans. After writing off many of its properties, the studio chose to completely remove the content from availability. AMC could do with Demascus what Warner Bros. did with the animated show Final Space and remove all traces of its existence from digital media, which is one of the consequences that can result from studios writing off properties.

When a studio owns the rights to a property and writes that property off for tax purposes, this means that the footage filmed for the property can be sold in any format. It would seem that AMC has chosen to categorize Demascus and Invitation to a Bonfire differently from the properties affected by the Warner Bros. write-off, which is good news for both shows, but their fates are still precarious since they could find themselves in the same situation as the Warner Bros. shows. Only time will tell if Demascus ever sees the light of day.