Bruce Campbell Reflects on the Cancellation of Ash vs. Evil Dead and STARZ Confusion Among Fans

Actor Bruce Campbell kicked off his journey with the Evil Dead franchise back in 1981, ultimately starring in three films, voicing multiple video games, and even returning to the franchise after two decades away for STARZ's Ash vs. Evil Dead. Despite excitement in the horror community that Campbell returned, the series failed to earn substantial ratings, ultimately leading towards its cancellation after three seasons. Campbell recently looked back on the underwhelming viewership, noting how STARZ didn't have the same recognition among movie fans and how it found a new life when all three seasons of the series debuted on Netflix.

"We knew the ratings were bad after the end of the second season. We just knew it. No one knew what STARZ was," Campbell explained to Collider. "I would say, 'Hey, we're making that as a TV show,' people go, 'Yeah, where can I see it?' 'STARZ.' And there will be a pause, and a pause, and then they would go, 'What's STARZ?' When it dropped on Netflix, people went, 'Hey, Cool. Cool. Netflix is finally doing The Evil Dead show.' I'm like, 'Oh, my God, it was three, three years too late.'"

As if the show getting cancelled in the first place wasn't disappointing enough, Campbell himself shared during production on the series that it would be his final live-action outing as Ash Williams

Campbell also went on to express how he felt that the series' lack of popularity at the time on STARZ was a casualty of media companies changing their approach to offering audiences original content as opposed to merely being a library of acquired titles. 

"It's commerce, it's business. You know, these companies were all expanding. AMC led the way, we're not just going to show other people's movies, we're going to make our own original stuff," the actor detailed. "So everyone is making their own original stuff. STARZ used to just show other people's movies. So the new sort of paradigm is you own it. It's gonna cost you a lot of money, but now you own these properties. So STARZ is trying to do the same thing. But no one knew who they were."

The next entry in the Evil Dead franchise, Evil Dead Rise, is expected to debut on HBO Max later this year.

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