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AMC Networks begins programming cutbacks, axes AMC+ original Moonhaven

Moonhaven is set on a utopian colony on the moon

Sci-fi drama Moonhaven has been cancelled by AMC+, four months after the show was renewed for a second season, as parent company AMC Networks starts cutting costs across the business.

The cancellation comes after New York-headquartered AMC Networks said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it expected to incur between US$375m and US$475m in pre-tax restructuring charges.

The company said between US$300m to US$400m would be related to “strategic programming assessments,” while between US$50m and US$75m would be related to organisational restructuring costs including severance, retention and other costs.

Last week, chairman James Dolan revealed that AMC Networks would “undergo significant cutbacks in operations,” with around 20% of the US workforce expected to be laid off.

“As I am sure you are aware, our industry has been under pressure from growing subscriber losses. This is primarily due to cord-cutting. At the same time we have seen the rise of direct-to-consumer streaming apps, including our own AMC+,” said Dolan last week.

“It was our belief that cord-cutting losses would be offset by gains in streaming. This has not been the case. We are primarily a content company and the mechanisms for the monetisation of content are in disarray.”

Last week also saw several high-profile executive departures, including CEO Christina Spade, who had only been in the role since September.

Marco Bresaz, senior VP of non-fiction and alternative entertainment for AMC, BBC America and Sundance TV, and David Stefanou, senior VP of development and programming at WEtv, have also left.

Created by showrunner Peter Ocko (Lodge 49, Black Sails), Moonhaven focused on a utopian colony on the moon that may hold the keys to preserving life on Earth. It was produced by AMC Studios and was executive produced by Ocko and Deb Spera.

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