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Amazon just revived this canceled TV show

Amazon logo on building
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Often when a TV show gets canceled the idea of it being picked up by another network or streaming service is floated, but rarely does it actually happen. However, in a rare exception, a show recently canceled by Showtime has just found itself a new home courtesy of Amazon. 

The show in question is American Rust, which was axed after its first season back in January. Showtime, the Paramount-owned network, clearly didn’t feel the drama series warranted more episodes after its first season was met with rather lukewarm reviews, but Amazon is giving it a second chance to shine. 

Interestingly, American Rust season 2 won’t be hitting Amazon’s premium Prime Video service but will instead find its new home on Amazon Freevee. This free streaming service was formerly known as IMDb TV, and actually offers quite a large selection of free content, including some excellent movies and plenty of binge-worthy TV shows such as Alex Rider and Bosh: Legacy. 

If you missed the show’s first season, American Rust stars Jeff Daniels as the chief of police in an economically devastated Pennsylvania steel town. His already complicated life is thrown into further turmoil when the son of the woman he loves is accused of murder. The show also features Maura Tierney, David Alvarez, Bill Camp, Jula Mayorga and Alex Neustaedter. 

Speaking about the move, Daniels said: “I’m grateful to Amazon Freevee for giving us the chance to make Season Two of American Rust. Set inside a struggling American small town, our authentic, realistically told story is built for streaming. The movies they don’t make anymore are being made as series at places like Amazon Freevee. It’s where I want to be." 

Freevee’s co-heads of content and programming, Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, were similarly enthusiastic about the revival, saying: “American Rust is exactly the type of gritty and engaging storytelling Amazon Freevee audiences love, and we could not be more excited to bring this prestige series to our customers, free of charge.”

To be frank, Amazon opting to save American Rust from cancelation comes as a bit of surprise. The show didn’t appear to be an ideal candidate for pickup primarily because of its fairly poor reception. The show’s first season scored a lowly 27% on Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab), and critics were not kind to it. Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club (opens in new tab) said: “There's a lot not to like about Rust, a dreary, well-acted, badly written chunk of misery porn.”

Interestingly, the show’s audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is significantly higher at 75% so perhaps this is another example of critics and viewers not seeing eye-to-eye. Amazon clearly sees untapped potential in American Rust and may hope that commissioning a second season will draw more attention to its often overlooked Freevee service. 

Next: In other Amazon news, Prime Video just announced The Boys season 4! We've also got a preview of the newest Marvel show's next episode for those waiting for the Ms. Marvel episode 2 release date.

Rory Mellon

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.