Starz Chief Explains “Da Vinci” Cancellation

Starz announced this week that the upcoming third season of “Da Vinci’s Demons” would be the period drama’s last, news which came as a surprise as the show had been a respectable performer for the network.

Speaking about the cancellation, network CEO Chris Albrecht tells Deadline that it essentially comes down to them having better performing shows that appeal to the same demographics:

“We really believe in serving underserved audiences in the premium cable space. The key is having shows that target a specific audience that becomes really passionate about the show. We have the success with Black Sails, which in some ways appeals to some of the same audiences, and while we have a lot of fan boys for Da Vinci’s Demons, we have what may be the fan boy series of all time in Ash vs. the Evil Dead.”

The show wrapped production on the third season before the news of the cancellation was announced, meaning the season finale wasn’t planned as a series finale. Albrecht says that the finale though provides a “very satisfying conclusion”. He adds that one of the reasons for the cancellation was that if it was to continue forward, the next narrative arc would’ve had to have been stretched over more than just a fourth season:

“If we didn’t stop now, the story should’ve gone through the next point, and we would’ve been in it for at least a couple of more seasons… There is no bad news here. The show ran its course. If a show runs for three seasons, it doesn’t mean it’s not a success, especially in the premium space.”

The entire final season of “Da Vinci’s Demons” will be available in full through Starz’s on-demand service from October 24th.