Whenever many of us hear the news that one of our favorite shows has been cancelled, there’s always that glimmer of hope that another network will pick it up, but the examples of this are quite rare.
Sometimes it happens. When Fox canceled Brooklyn Nine-Nine in 2018, it found a new home the following day and three more seasons on NBC and Hulu (opens in new tab), while Netflix picked up both Lucifer and Manifest after they were abandoned by their original networks. These things are rare, but they do happen, normally for shows with passionate, small fan bases that don’t bring in enough viewers to satisfy advertisers. All this makes the case of American Rust all the more strange.
Launched in 2021, American Rust starred Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney of The Affair in an adaptation of Philipp Meyer’s book of the same name. It was adapted for the small screen by Foxcatcher and Capote writer Dan Futterman, while David Alvarez, Bill Camp, Julia Mayorga and Rob Yang starred alongside Daniels and Tierney in this nine-part film.
The show saw Daniels play Del Harris, the chief of police in an economically devastated Pennsylvania steel town who suddenly questions his ethics and professional boundaries when the son of the woman he loves, Tierney’s Grace, is arrested and charged with murder.
Reviews for the show weren’t nice, with American Rust posting a low 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab)where many a critic made an unfriendly comparison between it and the beloved Mare Of Easttown (opens in new tab)† Showtime, owned by Paramount (opens in new tab)network where American Rust was broadcast, the show stopped in January of this year after one season, but now it has been saved.
Stored? By who?
Amazon. The tech giant has given the show a home for its second season on Amazon FreeVee (opens in new tab)the ad-supported, free-to-use platform once called IMDb TV.
Speaking about the surprise pickup, star Daniels said, “I’m grateful to Amazon Freevee for giving us the opportunity to make season two of American Rust. Our authentic, realistically told story, set in a struggling American town, is built for streaming. The movies they don’t make anymore are being serialized in places like Amazon Freevee. That’s where I want to be.”
Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, co-heads of content and programming at Amazon Freevee, added: “American Rust is exactly the kind of gritty and engaging stories that Amazon Freevee audiences love, and we couldn’t be more excited to share this one. prestigious series to our customers, for free.
“We can’t wait to continue with Boat Rocker and Dan Futterman the story that intrigued audiences during the first season, and to see in this next chapter the evolution of the characters so skillfully portrayed by Jeff and Maura. “
Analysis: Why does Amazon want this show?
Take a quick look at FreeVee’s current slate and you’ll see that subject-wise, American Rust fits in pretty well with what the platform has to offer.
The flagship show of the relaunched platform is Bosch: Legacy (opens in new tab), another gritty crime drama, albeit with much better reviews. They also put the critical hit Troppo there, another dust-in-throat mystery (opens in new tab) that takes place in the Australian outback. You’ll also find plenty of packaged action dramas with procedural edges, shows like Burn Notice and the MacGyver remake.
In addition, Prime Video offers subscribers shows like Reacher (opens in new tab), which has two seasons to go, and the soon-to-be-released Chris Pratt starring in The Terminal List. Both are breath-taking action dramas with real-life heroes and definitive villains; a clear showcase of the kind of market Amazon likes. With a cast and creative team already on hand for American Rust, why spend a year developing your own team if you don’t have to?
Want to read about the ending of Jack Ryan and the franchise’s planned spin-off? Step this way (opens in new tab)†