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The Bastard Executioner Is Canceled — By Kurt Sutter

Read his explanation

Liz Raftery

FX's The Bastard Executioner just got canceled - by its own creator, Kurt Sutter.

Sutter axed the freshman series via an ad in The Hollywood Reporterand other trade publications, which reads in part: "The audience has spoken and unfortunately the word is, 'meh.' So with due respect, we bring our mythology to an epic and fiery close." Check out the full ad here.

Over the course of six weeks on the air, The Bastard Executioner's audience went from 4 million for its Sept. 15 premiere to less than 2 million for the finale, which aired on Tuesday. (By contrast, Sutter's previous series, Sons of Anarchy, is the highest-rated drama series in FX's history.)

"At the end of the day the only thing that matters, really, is numbers," Sutter told The Hollywood Reporter about his decision to put the show out of its misery. "I'm not the guy sitting in my ivory tower spitting sh-- out and not caring if anyone is watching. ... I don't want to write something that nobody's f---ing watching."

6 things to know about Kurt Sutter's bloody new drama The Bastard Executioner

As far as why the show couldn't draw the viewers it needed to, Sutter speculates: "I think the mythology was a little too dense for some people. There's a glut of period pieces on right now, and I'm sure timing has something to do with it."

Sutter is still beholden to a three-year contract with FX. He tells THR he's working on a couple of new television ideas, including a Sons of Anarchy spin-off, as well as an old film script.