Z Nation: why the zombie series was canceled

It was in 2018 that SYFY canceled its popular zombie series, “Z Nation,” at the end of its 5th season. But what is the reason behind this decision? Let’s get back to the facts.

Warning, spoilers! The following article reveals important information about the plot of “Z Nation”.

When it comes to zombies, there’s definitely a before and an after. The Walking Dead. Before, zombies didn’t have a prominent place on television and the idea of ​​a series about the living dead becoming a major success seemed unlikely. On the big screen, the genre was not very active until the releases of 28 days later and resident Evil in 2002. After that, it didn’t take long before hordes of zombies invaded all screens.

Thus, other series of the genre have emerged and among them, a certain Z Nation, which debuted in 2014. But against TWD, SYFY’s series stood out. Indeed, if The Walking Dead has adopted an austere and sinister tone, Z Nation has chosen a very different atmosphere far from that of its sister – a stylistic distinction which has made its reputation.

Indeed, Z Nation did not have the same budget as the AMC series but knew how to compensate with an insane sense of fun, never taking itself too seriously, even if it had its share of deaths. shocking, like that of Harold Perrineau (Lost), disappeared at the end of the first episode, when viewers had believed he was the protagonist.

Fans even got a cameo from George RR Martin as a zombie version of himself during the 2nd season. The show had its fans, so why was it canceled?

SYFY trademark?

Audience-wise, Z Nation was never a huge hit but achieved respectable numbers for a channel like SYFY, so its cancellation came as a shock. Its end, the series perhaps owes it to the fact that the chain has a tendency to limit all its shows to 5 seasons maximum, probably because of the increase in the costs that a series can require with each new chapter.

The 1st season of Z Nation was made on a budget of less than $700,000 per episode, a figure that would have increased as the series progressed, due to increased cast salaries and the scope of the expanding story requiring more money for special effects in particular.

Z Nation why the zombie series was canceled

Z Nation is therefore not the only one to have had only 5 seasons on the channel: other popular shows like Stargate Atlantis or the cult series Eureka were also canceled before their season 6, despite their success.

But it must be admitted that in addition to rising costs, the number of viewers had decreased between each season. Season 1 averaged 1.42 million views per episode. A drop in numbers is still expected but however, during season 5 the number of viewers had dropped to less than 500,000 (according to tvseriesfinale.com).

So paying more for less ratings, SYFY’s decision was ultimately obvious. That doesn’t mean the cast, crew, and fans of the show were happy, though, especially since the series ended on a major cliffhanger. Indeed, Murphy (keith allan), after eating part of Sun Mei’s brain (Sydney Viengluang), had had a vision. It could have been his antidote, allowing him to immunize what’s left of humanity against the deadly Z virus. Unfortunately, no one will ever know what he saw.

An existing but different prequel

1659813627 302 Z Nation why the zombie series was canceled

When news of the cancellation broke in 2018, however, fans were able to console themselves with the idea of ​​a prequel in the works, BlackSummer, focusing on the origins of the epidemic. However, the tones of the two shows turned out to be very different, a difference on which the lead actress of Black Summer, Jaime Kinginsisted in an interview with ScreenRant at the time.

VSis interesting because people have started linking [Black Summer] at Z Nation and I figure it has nothing to do with it. This is not a link to Z Nation. I had never seen Z Nation or heard of Z Nation, but I have friends who love this series, and then people started saying it was like a prequel to Z Nation, which doesn’tis not the case.

While both series are produced by The Asylum, Black Summer (2019) offers a darker take that differs from the charm and lightheartedness that made many fans favor Z Nation (over Black Summer admittedly, but also The Walking Dead).

Black Summer, however, has its own qualities but is simply not the expansion of Z Nation that many hoped for. And some still hope: the sequel being produced by Netflix, many would like the platform – which also broadcasts Z Nation – to resume the series where it was abandoned. If so, all you have to do is cross your fingers.

In the meantime, you can see or rewatch Z Nation streaming on Netflix as well as the first 2 seasons of Black Summer. Season 3 of the latter has been confirmed but does not yet have a release date.

Also find below the teaser of the episode in which appears George RR Martin as a zombie, in the middle of a signing session…

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