The Man Who Fell to Earth won’t be back on Showtime.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the Paramount Global-backed premium cable network has refused to renew the series for a second season. The news comes when showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet originally conceived the drama as a closed-ended limited series, but changed course when they were halfway through the first season. Sources say executives were delighted with the show’s creative programming and felt the season came to a natural and appropriate end.
“Our thanks go to the extraordinary Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet, John Hlavin and Sarah Timberman who did an amazing job making the David Bowie movie such a resonating story for our time,” a Showtime spokesperson said in a statement. statement to THR. “And kudos to an amazing cast led by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Naomie Harris and Bill Nighy for bringing it to life. Alex and Jenny originally planned The Man Who Fell to Earth become a closed story. While we flirted with the idea of expanding it to a second season, we all eventually decided to embrace it as a well-told, one-season story.”
Originally ordered for CBS All Access (now Paramount+) series in 2019, The Man Who Fell to Earth was based on a 1963 novel by Walter Tevis (The Queen’s Gambit), which was adapted as a 1976 film starring David Bowie. Ejiofor (12 years slave) starred in the drama, playing a new alien landing on our planet in a role created so as not to be compared to the one made famous by the late rocker. Harris, Nighy, Jimmi Simpson and Kate Mulgrew also starred in the series, which moved to Paramount+, Showtime’s corporate brother, in March 2021, as the drama was more in line with the cable channel’s premium programming.
Kurtzman and Lumet (Star Trek: Discovery) served as co-showrunners along with Hlavin (shooter). They co-produced with Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, Heather Kadin and Rola Bauer and Françoise Guyonnet of Studiocanal.
CBS Studios co-produced the drama with Timberman/Beverly and Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout. Studiocanal owns the rights to Tevis’ novel and a 1976 film starring David Bowie, based on the book.
The decision not to continue with more Man who fell to earth, sources say, also predates the recent board change at Showtime mother Paramount Global in which David Nevins — who led a portfolio that included Showtime — left and the cable company was given oversight to Chris McCarthy. It’s worth noting that premium scripted fare has not been a focus for McCarthy, a rising star at the former Viacom. McCarthy oversees a range of networks, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and Paramount Network. (McCarthy’s lieutenant, Keith Cox, is the gatekeeper for all of Taylor Sheridan’s shows on linear and streaming.) During McCarthy’s tenure, he has largely taken Comedy Central and other networks out of the premium script space.
Showtime’s scripted roster includes the recently launched Let the right one in and American gigolo like Billions, The Chi, City on a Hill, The L Word, Yellowjackets and your honor, among other things.
Kurtzman and Lumet, meanwhile, continue to have general deals with CBS Studios and have multiple other shows in the works for both Paramount+ and Showtime, including the Star Trek franchisee.