It’s the end of the road for “The Knick.”
The Cinemax medical drama from Steven Soderbergh will not return for a third season, sources tell Variety.
“The Knick” last aired in December 2015, wrapping up its second season by seemingly killing off its main character, lead by star Clive Owen. However, Variety was first to report that a script and outline for Season 3 had been ordered with creators Michael Begler and Jack Amiel both set to return as executive producers and writers.
Insiders say that at one point, discussions were had for a double-renewal that would take the series through a third and fourth season, which would move to an entirely new time period with an entirely new cast, but set in the same hospital. The idea was for the show to have jumped 20 years ahead to the 1920’s for Season 3, and then jump forward another 20 years for subsequent seasons., showing the medical advancements through the decades. As part of the plan, Soderbergh was going to direct each episode.
The first two seasons starred Owen as Dr. Thackery, who in the Season 2 finale, appeared to die on the table, after a botched attempt to perform surgery on himself. Following the episode, when asked if he is indeed dead, Owen told Variety, “It certainly looks that way.”
After Season 2 had wrapped in Dec. 2015, a spokesperson for the net said: “Cinemax has been in conversations with Steven Soderbergh on how we might continue with ‘The Knick.’ When first conceived, the series was always meant to be presented in a two-year story arc, and Steven has been meeting with the writers to discuss how to proceed.”
In an interview with Variety last year, Soderbergh said he’s always thought of “The Knick” as a six-season run that would reset after every two seasons.
“It was always conceived in two-year chunks,” he said early last year. “The writers met yesterday to talk about what year three and four would look like — when would it take place, who are the characters. We always imagined every two years we would annihilate what came before and start over. And that’s what we’re doing now…I hope we can figure it out. I hope we come up with something that I look at it and go, OK, I want to spend another two years of my life on that. Because that’s really the question. It’s an intense experience — rewarding, but I want to make sure we want to keep the bar at the same height or higher.”
“The Knick” aired at a time when Soderbergh, an Oscar-winner for “Traffic,” had stepped away from the film business to concentrate on other art forms. He’s ended his semi-retirement and is back behind the camera on “Logan Lucky,” an ensemble comedy with Channing Tatum and Daniel Craig that debuts this summer.
Update, 10:35 a.m. PT: Following Variety‘s story being published, Cinemax confirmed “The Knick’s” cancellation, sending this statement:
“After a critically acclaimed two-season run of THE KNICK on Cinemax, we will not be going forward with additional episodes of the series,” said Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming. “Despite our pride in and affection for the series, as well as our respect for and gratitude towards Steven Soderbergh and his team, we have decided to return Cinemax to its original primetime series fare of high-octane action dramas, many of which will be internationally co-produced.”