Heels showrunner Mike O'Malley seeks a new home for a third season of the wrestling drama starring Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig. Starz abruptly canceled the series earlier this week after two seasons.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Starz president Kathryn Busby called O'Malley to break the news. “We knew when we finished the season, all the cast and everyone involved with the show, we're going to have to work our tail off to get people to watch the show, because Starz doesn't have the same marketing and advertising muscle behind it,” says O'Malley. “When the strike happened and they said we couldn't talk about it, it wasn't like Heels was on buses in every city in America. We're on Friday nights in the summertime. Starz worked really hard on making a great show and funding a great show, and we did too. We knew that we were going to have to carry some of the marketing [work]. We were supposed to go to Comic-Con and we didn't. And so when she called me — if it's good news, 10 people hop on the call. The breakup phone call is one quick call, and both people can't wait to get off the phone.”
Heels Season Two Ended with a Cliffhanger That Will Need Addressed if the Show Finds a New Home
Heels stars Alexander Ludwig and Stephen Amell (pictured, above) as wrestlers who inherit the Duffy Wrestling League from their father. Michael Waldron created the series that also stars Chris Bauer, Mary McCormack, Kelli Berglund, Allen Maldonado, Trey Tucker, Robby Ramos, Alice Barrett Mitchell, Roxton Garcia, David James Elliott, Joel Murray, and CM Punk. Heels aired for two seasons on Starz.
Season two ends with Jack (Amell) suffering a serious injury in the ring that leaves him with no feeling in his legs. “We did not intend, nor do we intend, for this to be the last episode of the show,” says O'Malley. “One of the things that we're trying to do in this show is honor wrestlers, honor anybody who has a dream and the endurance to pursue that dream. Sometimes that endurance can be misguided.” He continues:
“In terms of where the show will go in the future, whether it goes on or not, I'm trying to write a show about people getting along and finding a way to connect. As Ace says in the last episode, he spends so much time going after things and trying to get [success], but he could have spent a little bit more time trying to cultivate kindness. I believe that there is an audience out there who wants to see characters genuinely struggle through their own humanity, and characters who are trying to connect, because it's what people are trying to do in their own lives. And you just don't see enough of it on television.”
When Starz announced on Monday that it pulled the plug on the wrestling drama, frustrated fans made #CancelStarz trend on social media. O'Malley doesn't blame Starz for its ill-timed decision and still holds onto hope that we haven't seen the last of the Spade brothers. “I really believe the Starz executives when they say they want to see a future for [Heels] too, because they did invest a lot in the show,” he says. “I really do think it's going to have a life someplace else.”