Starz was the only network who believed in the resurrection of the Evil Dead series, so let’s thank them for three incredible seasons of Ash vs. Evil Dead.
If not for Starz, we may never have seen Ashley J. Williams again.
This weekend, the final episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead will air on the Starz network. The occasion marks the end of three bloody and action-packed seasons. Star Bruce Campbell has since officially retired as Ash, meaning the series finale will also serve as a final send-off for the legendary horror hero.
Certainly, news of the show’s cancellation came as a big disappointment for fans of the series. Campbell had previously said he had five good seasons in him, and that seemed like a great goal to aim for. In the end, we’re getting a solid three seasons, which isn’t the five (or more) we were all hoping for — but it’s still way more than we could have asked for.
For many, many years, horror fans have been calling for another Evil Dead film from Campbell and director Sam Raimi. When the Evil Dead reboot hit theaters in 2013, it seemed less likely that we’d ever see Ash again. But Raimi and brother Ted were still formulating plans to do an Evil Dead 4, going so far as to write two different screenplays for it. Ultimately, the Raimi brothers combined their ideas into one TV series, which gave them the concept for Ash vs. Evil Dead.
With the Raimis on board and Campbell willing to reprise the role, all that was needed to bring back Ash was a network who believed in the show. By November 2014, it was announced that Starz had ordered Ash vs. Evil Dead for a premiere in October of the following year. Campbell said that Starz was the only network offering the creative freedom to be unrated and unrestricted — an absolute requirement for this series, which would have suffered greatly from being watered down.
In the end, there just wasn’t enough people watching the show for Starz to order a fourth season. But that’s not a testament to its quality, as evident from its high scores at Rotten Tomatoes. You could say that the three seasons of Ash vs. Evil Dead aren’t unlike the original Evil Dead film trilogy — amazing films beloved by horror fans and cult classics for years to come, but not big moneymakers at the box office at the time.
For years, a fourth Evil Dead movie seemed impossible. Then it looked like we were going to get a new sequel, giving us another hour and a half with Ash. What we ultimately wound up getting was fifteen hours of new content, which is something we should all be happy about. Ash vs. Evil Dead ending after three seasons is certainly bittersweet, but having the series at all in its pure, unfiltered form is still a big win for us fans.
Thank you Starz.
The series finale of Ash vs. Evil Dead will air on Sunday, 9 p.m. EST on Starz. Be sure to watch the show to see Ash Williams slaying Deadites for one last time.