Starz Shelves Camelot, Citing 'Significant Production Challenges'

When all is said and done, there’ll only be a little Camelot. Starz has opted not to move forward with production on the series, which aired its first season finale earlier this month.

“Due to significant production challenges, Starz has decided not to exercise the option for subsequent seasons of Camelot with our production partners GK-tv, Octagon Films and Take 5 Productions,” the cabler explains in a statement cited by The Hollywood Reporter.

Our sister site Deadline elaborates that among the challenges for the Ireland-based production were scheduling conflicts with some members of the cast, which was fronted by Joseph Feinnes, Jamie Campbell Bower and Eva Green

Camelot premiered in April to 1.13 million viewers and a 0.5 demo rating, making it Starz’s most-watched and highest-rated original series debut ever. That demo rating also bested Syfy’s Merlin that night, as the two similar-ish series faced off for the first time.

Come finale time, Camelot was pulling just north of a million viewers and a 0.4 rating.

Starz is premiering Torchwood: Miracle Day, a continuation of the BBC series, on July 8.

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53 Comments
  1. Lambsilencer says:

    Deadline has a bit more info on the “production challenges”:

    “We’ve heard that scheduling conflicts with some of the actors were part of the problem for the Ireland-shot costume drama, which stars Joseph Feinnes, Jamie Campbell Bower and Eva Green and takes off on the King Arthur legend.”

  2. Lily says:

    Too bad, I thought it was excellent.

  3. Mary B says:

    I really tried to like this series, but it just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t like Arthur, and I didn’t ‘get’ Merlin. It was gorgeous though!

  4. Nicole says:

    Booooo Starz! While Camelot had its flaws, it had some fun, entertaining performances from Fiennes and Green. Here’s hoping we get a movie miniseries to wrap-up the cliffhanger from the finale.

  5. Michelle says:

    I can’t really say I’m surprised. I tried to like it – I wanted to like it – but it was just terrible. Jamie Campbell Bower was an awful Arthur and his Guinevere was even worse. And the writing was atrocious. Merlin – campy as it can be – I like much better.

    • Julia says:

      I felt the same way. I watched 4 or 5 episodes hoping it would get better. The writing and the hammy performances just did me in. Fiennes’ presence was the only thing that kept me watching for so long.

    • hippy says:

      i found quite the opposite, i have tried to watch Merlin, and found the performances childish and too humored. they play the parts in a way that would amuse a child, like erratic, random, and all over the place. i found it was a tad too ‘fantasy’ based as well. While Camelot was a more direct and historically reflective approach to the idea. while many of the actors were a little poor. i believe copious shows on television start like that. i mean i have been a long time fan of many Science fiction genre television shows; one of which i find gives a perfect example. i found that STARGATE ATLANTIS, started out with poor acting, actors with no chemistry, and bad writing. yet it developed into a six year series with great acting, EXCELLENT character chemistry, and good writing. a show must be given a chance to grow, and the actors given a chance to understand their characters, i have always thought that until a second season one cannot judge or critique a show, because these aspects have not been found or grown accustomed.

      just a personal opinion

  6. nacklin says:

    I will miss philip winchester who played leontes but they killed him off anyway. He was the best thing on it.

    Hopefully we’ll see philip winchester back on fringe.

  7. Aaron says:

    As this was the only Starz original worth my time to watch I guess I have no reason to worry with them anymore.

  8. Michael Sacal says:

    The show was good. It did some clever things with the mythos, like Caliburn and Excalibur, but the triangle between Arthur, Guinevere, and her husband didn’t put her in a good light given that the same thing would happen later with Lancelot.

  9. Andre says:

    As a cable tv subscriber there hardly anything to watch I always look forward to camalot on Fridays that is one of the only reasons I can justify having straz its originals pillars of earth, sparticus etc I was looking forward to next seasons it’s the same way I justify having hbo games of thrones realtime etc I really liked that camalot

  10. Jace says:

    I like Camelot, thought it had many flaws. I agree we needed a better Arthur. Of course running along side Game of Thrones and The Borgias really did not help draw viewers in. Looking forward to Torchwood, adn the new season of Spartacus.

  11. Carlos says:

    I tried liking it but HATED Arthur.

  12. Betsy says:

    I’m really disappointed. This was my quickly becoming my new favorite show…

  13. amilah says:

    No real loss, I did watch it, but the story did not advance enough for my taste. I found this Authur extremely unlike-able(sp?). This could be the way the story was written with him being a cheater. That kind of flies in the face of the Camelot legend? Anyway, I did enjoy Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, he was kind of sexy. But more than anything, I am looking forward to Torchwood and Spartacus.

  14. Larry says:

    Scheduling problems? What a weak excuse to drop a show that eclipsed anything else Starz has mounted.

  15. Jeanna Barker says:

    I liked Camelot. I’m a HUGE fan of Arthurian legend and like all retellings of it whether campy or dramatic. This one I loved for the taste of reality it gave as well as the fantasy. They were brutual with storylines to go with the history of the time and embellished on the legend to make the characters seem more modern. I will miss Camelot as my Friday night fix. :(

    • Sharon says:

      I couldn’t agree more, I loved the new take on an old legend. Very disappointed that they couldn’t get themselves organised for another season.

  16. Mali says:

    So upset that this is the end. Ugh!

  17. Sourabh says:

    It only ever got interesting towards the end, and by then it was too little too late.
    I really tried liking it, because I began by not liking Spartacus and then grew to love it, so I thought it might happen with Camelot too, but it didn’t happen.

    Still, I wouldn’t mind watching a miniseries of some kind.

  18. mgb says:

    This is sad, disappointing news. While Arthur was a bit lacking, I think he was growing into the role, and the remainder of the cast was great. I was especially fond of Gwain and Merlin.

  19. Brian Thompson says:

    I was a fan from the beginning but after a while maybe by the 5th episode of Camelot, the rivalry between Morgana and Arthur started to become too much of the focus of the show and frankly a bit boring. This show was playing on Starz at the same time the premier of the “Game of Thrones” on HBO which became much more interesting. Basically, I was greatly interested in the remaking of the story of King Arthur but then the Game of Thrones became much more intriguing. So there was a great deal of much competition. In my opinion, Camelot would have done better if it premiered after the “Game of Thrones”.

  20. bhm1304 says:

    This show’s biggest “production challenge” was casting Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur. It ruined everything.

  21. John Harnes says:

    I loved the concept. The actors were great but… As I watched the show the writing was horrible. Arthur was weak, a betrayer of friends, overly proud and not the sort of hero a legend would spring up about. After episode 4 I was a Morgana supporter.

    In the last episode Arthur sends everyone else away to save them while he remains in a ruined fortress, being attacked by a small group of ill trained idiots. The set was horrible with cloth rags everywhere. We then see Rambo Arthur spending hours building traps all over the fortress. The enemy, for some stupid reason, decide to send one idiot after another to fall victim to the traps. When they attack in force Arthur and his “Magic” bow slaughters the attackers as he hides among the rags. Finally he is beaten down and the king’s sword is taken from him. Instead of killing the king, the attackers send the King’s sword to Morgana and moments later the unarmed Arthur escapes before he can be killed and continues to slaughter the attackers.
    My Lord this had nothing to do with the Arthur legend – it was a soap opera with nudity and I believe it failed.

  22. Lisa says:

    I enjoyed the show despite some flaws, including both the casting and writing of Arthur. (No offense to Jamie Campbell Bower, but he just wasn’t an Arthur.) I’m with some of the other folks on here — once Game of Thrones started, Camelot didn’t look so great by comparison. That being said, I was hoping they would grow into the second season….

  23. jonathon says:

    I agree that next to Game of Thrones it felt like it was missing something but compared to other shows i watch on t.v. it really picked up speed as it went on and i thought the last 3 weeks really got me glued and wanting more as Game of Thrones had been by far doing every week from the beginning. I was really looking forward to a 2nd season because Mr. Fiennes, as he did in Flash Forward, really got me pumped for what could happen next. I admit Arthur’s portrayal did not sale me at first but it was like he was learning his role and we were there watching him evolve as the weeks went on. Sad to see it go. I too hope for some closure in a miniseries.

  24. Lyndsey says:

    As a medieval historian & a lover of Arthurian literature since childhood, I loved Camelot! They stuck to a more historical feel while still acknowledging that this was all still fantasy (I often have to remind people that there actually was no ‘King Arthur’). Joseph Fiennes is hands-down the best ‘Merlin’ I’ve ever seen, bringing that warrior-magician vibe from my favorite modern Arthurian literature! Eva Green & Claire Forlani were both absolutely outstanding.

    I’ll admit that initially I wasn’t happy with Bower or the portrayal of Arthur by the finale I completely got the reasoning behind it. Instead of introducing this flawless, one-note legend we were allowed to see him grow into the legend he would become. Let’s be honest, would you expect any different behavior from the teenagers you know if they were suddenly made king of a country?! God knows I’d be looking for a new country!! We saw the layers build until he became the completely selfless king willing to sacrifice himself to save his friends…which is the Arthur of legend! The scene where he stopped Morgan’s coronation was by far the best of the season! It made me so excited for season two! :-(

  25. Rosie says:

    I find it quite amusing, that while probably 90% of the people who liked Camelot admit that it had one major flaw, very few people can agree on what that flaw actually was.
    I’m in one of those camps that didn’t mind JCB as Arthur (I had more of a problem – not insurmountable – with Eva Green as Morgana, or even, occasionally, with Fiennes’ portrayal of Merlin), but I’d watch the show were it to continue with a recasting to avoid those production scheduling conflicts.
    Camelot looked like it had staying power, especially since (1) it’s American broadcaster was Starz, who have been bending over backwards to keep Spartacus on the air, despite the necessity of recasting the lead actor (there’s never enough news about Mr. Whitfield!) and the inconvenience ot recasting another major role; and (2) there was still plenty of the usual mythos still to explore, and even more scope to play around in the spaces between those parts we might have been expecting to see in one form or another.
    It’s a shame, and a fairly unexpected pity at that, that this show was thrown out so early in it’s potential run.

  26. Rachel says:

    Ive only watched the BBC Merlin and still do. For some reason Camelot didn’t appeal to me. The two episodes I did see just sort of felt flat and incomplete and too risque but then where on starz so we have to see a little bit of nudity. I don’t know I just didn’t get the whole Camelot package deal I guess. Can’t wait for season 4 of Merlin :)

  27. Emily says:

    I really wanted to like the show but Arthur was so unlikeable and only seemed to care about hooking up with a girl who was married. The only good part was Eva Green who was great, and had such chemistry with Joseph Fiennes.
    I’ll be sticking with Merlin.

  28. Bob says:

    Starz spent all their spare change on Torchwood last year, thus preventing them from hiring top-notch writers, directors and in some cases, actors (big exclusion for Feinnes). They better have spent it well on Torchwood, or my guess is you’ll be reading the same story about that series later this year.

  29. Mindy says:

    LOVED Camelot. Loved especially Ralph Feinnes…he was fantastic. I guess the rest I can live without and be okay with, but loved him and his portrayal of Merlin.

  30. Colleen says:

    I tried so hard to like Camelot, I watched every episode, but I have to say I was not impressed. It felt like they were trying to rope in a younger crowd. I would not have watched a second season of Camelot anyway, no loss. The Borgias and Game of Thrones are so much better. The acting on Camelot was cheesy.

  31. darclyte says:

    Regardless of ratings, Torchwood may only be “one and done” on Starz. If it doesn’t meet their expectations, then of course they won’t want it back. If it exceeds their expectations, BBC may want it back exclusively to them.

  32. jless says:

    I’m shocked to read some people say that this series was EXCELLENT!?
    It was one of the worst series ever. The casting was terrible, King Arthur was the weakest link on Camelot, the actor was beyond lame. Mr. Fiennes was miscast as Merlin, and we know where all the talent went on his family.Eva Green scene chewing must have made her gain lots of weight.Also it looked very cheap.Thanks Starz for killing this turkey.

  33. Pam says:

    I would say it was dead weight, ie Joseph Fiennes. He is a series-killer.

  34. jaques says:

    Too bad starz but after gladiatos and against game of thrones this was a poorly scripted poorly acted show that moved so slowly my 97 year old mother could follow it. between Fiennes underacting and the actress who played morgana overacting it seemed like a high school production. if these writers ever work again it should so far off Broadway the Bowery wouldnt do and snooki would probably turn down a part

  35. ShamKat says:

    Camelot was an excellent series… except Arthur. If they recast that part, I think the show would bring back viewers and attract new ones.

  36. Aleina says:

    I watched Camelot from day 1 and I was so excited to see what they’d do with the legendary hero. What they created was a shambles. They had some great actors whose performances were stunning (Forlani, Green, Fiennes and Standen at the forefront) but unfortunately the casting of Jamie Campbell Bower completely destroyed the series. He came across as weak and pathetic, disloyal and a bit of a jerk – not the hero I was expecting at all. Tamsin Egerton made a beautiful Guinevere and though she is a fairly good actress but the new take on the character of Guinevere made her seem a bit of a slag. I thought the love triangle – whilst unusual – was unnecessary as there is another love triangle in the future between Guinevere, Lancelot and Arthur. The triangle left a negative impression of both Arthur and Guinevere. I was so disillusioned with the relationship between them that I was actually more interested at the relationship between Merlin and Igraine, which was far more endearing.

    Whilst the BBC’s Merlin isn’t as serious, it IS entertaining, amusing and true to the Arthurian legend. I think Camelot tried to give a different and more realistic approach to the story, and whilst some aspects of it were quite clever (the creation of the ‘legend’ about Excalibur among them) there were many problems – the love-triangle most prominently.

  37. indcit says:

    It would be nice to actually spell an actor’s name correctly when you want your story to be taken seriously. It’s FIENNES, not feinnes!! I don’t know whose fault this is, tvline’s or deadline’s but don’t perpetuate each other’s mistakes!!

    • lelier says:

      I must say it must be WONDERFUL to be YOU! So perfect in every way! We are on a comment board, not in an English class! Geez!

  38. Silk says:

    That really sucks as my wife and I enjoyed the show, but maybe now Game of Thrones can snatch up Joseph Fiennes for one of their main character.

  39. Mike W. C. says:

    I LOVED this series, just now found out it was cancelled and im pissed, im soooo dissapointed in Starz im cancelling my subscription and going to HBO no starz series was ever worth watching, hbo was better on every curve, then camelot came and i thought wow they finally did it and they cancel it! they had lots of viewers who loved it F you starzvery dissapointing

    • dolphins says:

      i agree. i loved the show and was looking foward to the 2nd season. i haven’t watched starz since. i may as well cancel it, i’m just wasting my money, i don’t watch starz anymore. i keep hoping for a mini-series that will tie up that season finale.

  40. sandra says:

    to all the above postings, today I stopped my script to STARZ ! Boo to them, the only show I truly enjoyed was CAMELOT. And unlike most of you I loved every actor and the parts they played. I had so hopped they would return so I could see where the story would lead, but no STARZ had to pull thwe most top rated show they have ever had, they need their heads checked by a shrink cause who ever cut this show should be fired !

    • Mark B, Ont,Canada says:

      I really enjoyed the series, loved the actors and actresses. Arthur did seem not weak but really young to play the part. I found the battle scene in the end quite cheap. Only a handful of soldiers and such a silly setting. All in all it’s too bad it’s over. My favourite was Claire Forlani.

  41. ladyjenivere says:

    I absolutely loved this show. Cannot believe they canceled it with THAT ending! I really just want more! Can’t everyone come back and resume where they left off? Pretty please!

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