Cancelled Before It Began: The After (2014)

By | March 24, 2016

Our ongoing look back at sci fi / fantasy TV shows that were cancelled way too soon or pilots that never made it to series.

The_After_CancelledThe pilot for this proposed series came from X-Files creator Chris Carter and it focuses on eight strangers who were thrown together and forced to cooperate with each other in order to survive as society appeared to be crumbling around them.  It was released by Amazon Instant Video in February 2014 and viewers were asked to vote on whether they wanted this to continue as a series.  It received sufficient positive feedback and Amazon announced that they would be picking the show up for an eight episode first season.  Carter envisioned 99 total episodes for the show and modeled it on Dante’s The Divine Comedy which has 99  cantos.  But it never made it beyond the first cantos (assuming that was what the pilot was supposed to be following) as nothing was heard about the production for months followed by Amazon announcing in January of 2015 that the show was cancelled with no episodes filmed beyond the pilot.  That left many of us wondering what had happened and there was little information available for several months after the cancellation announcement.  But since then it has become clear that there were significant creative differences between Carter’s vision and what Amazon was willing to do.  Asked about what happened while working on the X-Files revival, Carter had the following comments:

I think there was just a difference of opinion about the direction of the show. It was a hard sell from the beginning. It was eight characters in hell, and I really didn’t do a bible for the show because I wanted to discover what that was about. It was a hard sell, and it would have been an investment for them, if they were going to do eight episodes, of $40 million. I can understand their reluctance, and I still think I had eight great episodes.

Amazon executive Roy Price also believed that the show was a tough sell: “Not everything works out. It wasn’t the money, It was a tough concept, and hard to crack. Who knows, maybe it will come together one day?”

I’ve heard no word about Carter trying to shop The After around to other venues, and considering the scope of the project he probably would have a hard time getting one of the television networks to pick it up.  But it seems like Netflix might still be a possibility.  Perhaps he has talked with them, though, and they were not interested.   The pilot is still available for viewing on Amazon if you are interested, and it is worth a look if for no other reason than to get a glimpse of this grand idea from Carter that will likely never be realized.

Aired: Amazon, 2014 (Still Available for Streaming)

Created By: Chris Carter

Starring: Sharon Lawrence, Adrian Pasdar, Jamie Kennedy, Aldis Hodge

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