Now that AMC has entered the “original scripted series” landscape, the cable network has been put in the difficult position of having to cancel a show for the first time ever. Rubicon is the unfortunate victim, having been undone by extremely poor ratings.
Rubicon had a strong premise in the tale of a man who stumbles upon a conspiracy involving a secret fourth arm of the U.S. government, and a great cast that included the likes of James Badge Dale and Miranda Richardson. So what went wrong? Why couldn’t a show with so much promise find an audience?
I see a few different factors to blame. Most prominent among them: critics who constantly cited the “sleepy,” “slow-moving” nature of the show. Anytime we viewers hear the word “conspiracy,” we think of suspense and excitement, but Rubicon didn’t seem to have enough of either to suit viewers’ appetites. There’s also its Sunday-at-9:p.m. timeslot, which was fine for a while, but after The Walking Dead settled into the 10:p.m. slot, it probably proved an eye-opening contrast between the low-rated Rubicon and the mega-hit that followed it.