In normal circumstances, we probably wouldn’t bother to report on the death of a TV show so mysterious that nothing is known about its concept, its characters, or even its titles; TV shows die all the time, often without even a sliver of themselves being exposed to the light of day.
But, then, most of these mystery shows weren’t created by Matthew Weiner, whose Mad Men helped establish the boundaries of modern Prestige TV. (Even if his follow-up series, The Romanoffs, made far less striking an impression.) Certainly his name remained big enough in the realm of TV that it made headlines when FX announced it was working with him on a new half-hour dramedy in 2020, with all details kept completely under wraps.
And now, apparently, thoroughly mummified. This is per The Hollywood Reporter, which published a story today quoting one of its own upcoming podcasts, in which FX mastermind John Landgraf revealed that the series won’t be going forward.
Weiner’s career has been resolutely quiet for the last several years—largely overlapping, coincidentally or not, with a moment in 2017 in which he was accused of sexually harassing one of his Mad Men writers, Kater Gordon. Weiner has since denied accusations that he once told Gordon she “owed it to him” to let him see her naked; Gordon and Mad Men producer Marti Noxon later wrote an op-ed for THR detailing how to improve the TV industry’s handling of “toxic showrunners.”
It was into this climate that The Romanoffs was released, and then swiftly vanished from the public consciousness—despite both Weiner’s own reputation, and the stacked cast he brought to its take on anthology storytelling. Despite a fair number of successful installments, the show just sort of fizzled out.
As has this new one, whatever it was. As has, at least for the moment, Matthew Weiner himself.