Y: The Last Man: FX Chief On Decision To Cancel Post-Apocalyptic Drama After One Season

After a long journey to the screen that included showrunner and casting changes and a pandemic-related delay, FX’s Y: The Last Man only lasted one season. It was canceled while Season 1 was still airing, a couple of weeks before the Nov. 1 finale.

The decision came down to viewership retention for the comic book adaptation from writer, executive producer and showruner Eliza Cohen, FX Chairman John Landgraf said during the network’s portion of TCA.

“I really loved Y: Last Man personally, I really admired all the work that went into it, I really think Eliza Clark did a great job,” Landgraf said. “But I will tell you, Its audience decline was really, really, really steep and ultimately that is what made us go in that direction.”

Landgraf elaborated on the network’s methodology used to make renewal decisions.

“One of the key things that we have assessed for as long as we have been doing this is the trajectory of a television show across a season from its first to its last episode,” he said. “We closely monitor the decline or the retention of audience. If you look at shows we’ve renewed, there is a higher level of retention than the shows we’ve canceled; all have a very steep decline from the first last episode of the season, much steeper decline than the shows we’ve renewed.”

Admitting that “it’s very hard to make those decisions,” Landgraf noted that there have been only three instances in FX’s 20-year history of original programming when a series that has been renewed for a second season has not gone on to Seasn 3 and beyond.

Clark announced Y‘s cancellation on Twitter in October.

“I have never in my life been more committed to a story, and there is so much left to tell… We don’t want it to end,” she wrote before adding that “FX has been an amazing partner. “

Y: The Last Man is a post-apocalyptic drama developed by Clark based on the comic book series of the same name by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. In the series, a cataclysmic event decimates everyone but one cisgender male, Yorick Brown (Ben Schnetzer), and his pet monkey. The series follows the survivors in this new world as they struggle with their efforts to restore what was lost and the opportunity to build something better.

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