After two years of seeking justice for the Midlands, Richard Rahl's quest has finally ended. ABC Studios, responding to syndication failure—Tribune, which carried the series on its stations, said in March that it wouldn't air a third season—and unable to find a new distributor, is reportedly ending the Seeker's story. There is, however, no official word, though EW's Michael Ausiello is absolutely certain that Legend of the Seeker is dead.
Craig Horner in Legend of the Seeker.
© ABC Studios
Costar Bridget Regan seemed to confirm the news in a tweet: "Got some news that Seeker is no more. So sad to say goodbye to my NZ family but excited for what's next."
The season's viewership started at about 2.5 million in November, but the April 10th episode barely brought in two million--not strong enough to attract a new distributor, though cult series on cable have gotten renewals with less. Syndication, however, is a chancier game.
The New Zealand-produced adaptation of Terry Goodkind's novels started out strong, with steady viewer interest during the first season's struggle between Richard (Craig Horner), helped by Zed (Bruce Spence) and Kahlan (Bridget Regan), against the evil ruler Darken Rahl (Craig Parker).
But the series stumbled a bit in the second season, starting out with a poorly executed (and poorly cast) season opener, complete with an irritating/sexy/really irritating new companion, Cara (Tabrett Bethell), and an infuriatingly vague threat from the Keeper of the Underworld and his new minion, the dead-but-how-can-you-tell Darken Rahl. Meanwhile, the aspect of the show I initially celebrated--the fact that it wasn't undermining itself with tongue-in-cheek camp like Xena and Hercules--descended into a leaden earnestness that, Bruce Spence's wonderful nuttiness aside, really detracted from the show's guilty-pleasure appeal.
Still, there was a lot of potential in the storylines, the music won an Emmy (no kidding) and the production values are high, and Craig Horner has on occasion turned in impressive performances, so this cancellation is a real shame. Season 2 had some really charming moments, and despite the rocky road they've traveled this year I was looking forward to the possibility of the character development that often comes in the third season of a character-driven action series.
The creators will have seen this possibility coming, so the final episode of season 2 has probably long been planned to provide some closure for Richard, Kahlan, and Zed. Here's hoping that they're happy in their new offscreen lives, and that somewhere down the line we can visit them in a one-off TV movie or two.
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