Sixteenth-century playwright William Shakespeare has had one of the most enduring legacies of any author in history. TNT’s new fictional biography of the famous writer, Will, is not so lucky. The network announced today they’ve canceled the show after only one short season.
Will followed a young Shakespeare as he traveled to London to make a name for himself, finding fame and controversy among his new theater company.
Newcomer Laurie Davidson portrayed William Shakespeare on the show, with Wonder Woman‘s Ewen Bremner and Star Trek‘s Colm Meaney in supporting roles.
The show was created by Australian writer Craig Pearce, who collaborated with director Baz Luhrmann on the films Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, and The Great Gatsby.
As you might expect from a writer with that track record, Will peppered its fictional account of Shakespeare’s life with a rock soundtrack.
Acclaimed director Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth, Elizabeth: The Golden Age) also had a hand on the show, serving as an executive producer and even directing multiple episodes.
Will debuted on TNT in July to less-than-stellar ratings in its Monday time slot and a mixed reaction from both critics and audiences alike.
TNT recently launched an attempt to expand its original programming, opting for riskier fare, with Will being just one recent example.
The network’s president, Kevin Reilly, admitted earlier this summer that the show was expensive to produce, which meant the declining ratings were likely too much to shoulder.
The final episode of Will, “Once, Bright Angel” aired Monday night, clearing the way for the show’s cancellation today.
Another new TNT drama that launched at the same time as Will is faring much better. Claws, starring Niecy Nash and Carrie Preston, premiered the same week as Will and was renewed for a second season only one day after it first aired.