When it was announced that Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon was bringing a non-space-y meta-thriller to the CW, it raised a lot of eyebrows, though not necessarily a lot of interested ones. Cult was a thriller-within-a-thriller, telling the story of a journalist whose brother got caught up in the for-real cult following of a CW show called Cult — therein lies the meta — about a cult leader whose following is infiltrated by a cop whose sister he kidnapped. Everything everyone did was drowning in conspiracy, and it seemed like everyone was in on it. It could have been a pretty solid one-off, if nothing else.
So it’s no surprise that the CW has canceled Cult after only seven episodes, at the height of its central mystery! Only that was to be expected, because the ratings weren’t great, especially after it moved to Friday nights just a couple of episodes in. There’s a reason why those ratings were so low: the show seemed to have been written by someone who only found out about things like TV shows and mysteries secondhand, without ever experiencing these things for themselves. The overall approach in everything from the writing to the pacing to Matt Davis’ understated way of overstating everything made for a wacky combination that was 90% fun to watch because of its WTF factor, and 10% to actually see where the mystery was going. O’Bannon tweeted his response, keeping it cool.
#Cult Sadly true. CW Execs once called the last 5 episodes “outstanding”. I guess too outstanding. You are great, SMART fans. Thx to u all!
— Rockne S. O’Bannon (@Rockne_S) April 10, 2013
Davis had a more sarcastic tweet, saying, “Good news Cult fans! Cult has been renewed for the next ten season (sic) due to its brilliant marketing campaign! Good job everyone,” while later offering an honest thank you to fans.
The remaining episodes, which were all filmed, are being replaced by other crap that doesn’t concern this website, so it’s possible the website or future home release will give fans whatever atomic fart of a climax this show had coming.
O’Bannon fans don’t have to wait much longer for his new Syfy series Defiance, which premieres on April 15th.