Almighty Johnsons axed, says creator

By Chris Schulz

The Almighty Johnsons won't be returning for a third season, the show's creator says. Photo / Supplied
The Almighty Johnsons won't be returning for a third season, the show's creator says. Photo / Supplied

Twitter complaints are rolling in and a petition has been launched over reports that The Almighty Johnsons won't return for a third season.

James Griffin, the co-creator of the TV3 show - which followed a family of Norse gods living in New Zealand - today told nzherald.co.nz it had been scrapped after two seasons.

"It's far from ideal, not a great state of affairs," Griffin said.

TV3 told nzherald.co.nz "no final decision" had yet been made and "conversations between ourselves and South Pacific Pictures are ongoing". The network (@TV3nz) later tweeted: "Discussions with South Pacific are ongoing with regards to future of #AlmightyJohnsons. It's not definitely cancelled despite media reports."

But Griffin said a third season arc of 13 episodes was turned down by the network, as well as a counter offer for a "tele-movie" to wrap up season two's cliffhangers.

A "gutted" Griffin said all efforts to take the show to another network had been exhausted, but he was "proud" of what the show had achieved over its run.

Lead actor Emmett Skilton (@emmettskilton), who played Odin, tweeted earlier today: "Sadly friends, Odins quest has ended for now ...

"It was such a great pleasure to create and share the world with each and every one of you."

The Almighty Johnsons - created by Griffin and Rachel Lang, and produced by South Pacific Pictures - featured many well known Kiwi stars, including Tim Balme, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Dean O'Gorman and Siobhan Marshall.

Its first season ran for 10 episodes in 2011, while its 13-episode second season aired between October, 2011, and February, 2012 and received $6.9 million of funding from NZ on Air, reported Throng.co.nz.

But Throng said ratings for the show's second season were well down on the first, with 184,460 tuning in for the season premiere. The first season premiere had 334,480 viewers.

The second season had a positive reception from critics, with Herald reviewer Russell Baillie calling Johnsons "the strangest local show to sustain more than one season on prime time".

Baillie said season two had some of the "maddest and funniest" moments so far.

A petition launched today asked TV3 to reconsider the decision "despite earlier committing to a third season and despite last season being left with a number of unanswered questions".

It said: "We need to save The Almighty Johnsons. Make TV3 reconsider their decision - you can help by signing this petition and sharing it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and everything else."

A Facebook page called "Oh My God, Save the Almighty Johnsons" has also been set up.

Fans took to Twitter to voice their displeasure after rumours began circulating earlier today.

"I feel a TV3 boycott coming on," said Chris H (@geogeek), while Mike Kilpatrick (@mikekilpatrick) said: "I hate that great local comedy drama is ignored in place of bulls**t reality/imported shows. Grrr."

Mark Paterson (@whowantstorock) said: "Tragic day when @tv3nz cancels The Almighty Johnsons, the best local show in ages, while delivering s**t like The Ridges."

Wendy Lester (@WendyWings) said: "Almighty Johnsons has been canned, totally ruined my day. Too many unanswered questions, thanks for nothing NZ on Air."

And Lew (@LewStoddart) said: "I thought The Almighty Johnsons sounded silly & never watched it, but it had a large and loyal following, so canning it is a weird decision."

The cancellation was first reported by TV blogger Chris Philpott (@chrisphilpottnz) on Twitter.

TV3 also decided not to renew comedy show Hounds after one season, despite positive reviews. A petition was also launched in a bid to have it renewed.

- Herald online

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