‘The Bastard Executioner’ Gets the Axe


FX’s new historical fiction drama series The Bastard Executioner has been cancelled after one season due to poor ratings. The season one finale that aired Tuesday night will forever serve as the series finale, but creator and showrunner Kurt Sutter isn’t going quietly.

In a report for Variety, Sutter admitted, “The numbers just didn’t sustain the cost of the show… It’s all math at the end of the day. We couldn’t establish that core audience that allows you to figure out your advertising paradigm and whether or not the show is affordable.”

The Bastard Executionerfocused on a Welsh knight named Wilkin Brattle who was betrayed by an Englishman and left to die. He wound up surviving though and even settled for a peaceful farming existence with his wife, who’s pregnant with their first child when the taxation by the local Baron, who also turns out to be the man who betrayed Wilkin years ago, become so high he can no longer sustain his way of life. In desperation Wilkin decides to take matters into his own hands and raids one of the Baron’s tax collectors, which results in the Baron taking revenge by murdering all the women and children in his village. The series picks up with Brattle taking the identity of a journeyman executioner, in order to slay the Baron and the soldiers involved in his village’s massacre.

While Sutter understands the show just wasn’t meant to be, he’s going out of his way to thank everyone involved in the project by paying for an ad in upcoming editions of various media outlets that shows his appreciation for everyone’s hard work.

The ad reads:

“I would like to acknowledge The Bastard Executioner family for a once in a lifetime creative and personal experience. I have been awed by the talent and commitment of this TBX cast and crew.

I thank my partners for their trust, support and tireless effort as I slashed my way through 50 years of Catholic angst. FX Networks, Fox21, Paris Barclay, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Dana Walden, Gary Newman, Bert Salke, Michael Gendler, WME and the guy who, for over dozen years now, inspires, guides, wrangles, and for some reason, doesn’t fire me, John Landgraf.
The audience has spoken and unfortunately the word is, “meh”. So with due respect, we bring our mythology to an epic and firey close.

Uno tempore. Unus amor.


“Meh” certainly sums up most critiques of The Bastard Executioner, which currently has a 49% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The general consensus on the popular TV and movie rating aggregator states the show “doesn’t want for dark thrills, but it unfortunately has more enthusiasm for brutality and gore than necessary narrative focus.”

Despite the mixed to negative reception, Sutter said, “I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I love this story.”

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