Why The Mist TV Series Failed To Get Out Of Its First Season

On November 21, 2007, the controversial yet definitive adaptation of Stephen King's "The Mist" was released. While taking a couple of liberties from the source material, this adaptation managed to develop a great balance between the story's Lovecraftian monsters and psychological torment, culminating in arguably one of the most controversial movie endings of all time. Whether you love or hate it, the fact that we still talk about it to this day proves that Frank Darabont's "The Mist" was a rare horror adaptation worthy of being discussed alongside the original 1980 novella.

The 2017 series adaptation of the novella, though? Well, that's an entirely different story. That year, Spike aired the critically-panned "Mist" series by Danish producer Christian Torpe. While there's no denying that part of the original story's allure was the psychological decline of the central survivors, the show seemed to focus more on that specific element than the issue of the mist itself. This decision was one that left many disappointed, resulting in some truly abysmal ratings. After all, the fact that monsters were hiding in the mist is just as important as the idea that the mist was karmic retribution. When you replace one critical aspect of King's story yet keep the other one intact, the entire point of the story falls flat.

However, negative fan response and low ratings weren't the linchpins that ended up canceling the show. Rather, it's because Spike, the network that aired "The Mist," was already on its last legs by the time the series started airing.

Spike is dead. Long live Paramount Network

In case you forgot or were somehow unaware, the male-centric cable network Spike officially rebranded into Paramount Network in 2018. At the time, this was not a huge surprise, as the channel had only a couple of highly-rated original shows on the air. "The Mist" was not one of these shows, with Variety reporting at the time of its cancelation that the show had a Nielsen average rating of 0.14 per episode. Now that's scary!

Only two Spike shows were carried over into Paramount Network's programming: the popular competition show "Lip Sync Battle" and the dramatic reality show "Bar Rescue," both of which garnered consistently decent ratings. All other shows airing on the channel at the time, including "The Mist," were slowly but surely canceled to make way for new programming. Among these new shows were a miniseries on the 1993 Waco standoff and some Western drama from the guy who played Danny on "Veronica Mars." That probably didn't go very far.

The cancelation of "The Mist" promptly led it to be forgotten by most Stephen King and horror fans. It's a bit sad that the 2007 film has overshadowed it, but at the very least, the show tried doing something unique with the material. Unfortunately, that didn't translate well into the final product, resulting in it being one of the many casualties of Spike's rebrand into Paramount Network.