Michael Moore can add “television” to his list of Trump-era failures; Turner broadcasting networks axed the filmmaker’s “docuseries” “Michael Moore Live From the Apocalypse” this week, according to Deadline magazine.
The show — a “refreshing” take on politics from Moore and his production company — was supposed to air on TBS, but despite announcing the series in 2017, Moore reportedly never followed through with filming any episodes. Instead, Moore moved on to a one-man Broadway show, which closed after only a short run, and a long-form documentary called “Farenheit 11/9,” which bombed at theaters.
Deadline reports that the show “was to be ‘a raucous gathering place for millions of our fellow citizens in desperate need of a break from the screaming pundits and the purveyors of ‘alternative facts.'” Moore himself added that he planned on taking on “DC politics, Wall Street and the 1%,” as writer, director, and star of the series.
Moore told the magazine in 2017 that, “Our show will be dangerous and relentless. And it will be the destination for those who want to know what’s really going on and what they might be able to do about it.”
Moore claimed to be committed to the project as recently as May of last year, according to IndieWire, but kept pushing back the series’ release date, from late 2017 to early 2018 to late 2018, just before the mid-term elections. TBS encouraged Moore to get to work, telling Moore and his production team that they had free reign to build a political show without worrying about typical network standards or practices.
“I’ve been told over and over by the people at TBS, please never think about any network standard or practice,” Moore told IndieWire. “‘Do what you’ve got to do. Worry about it later,’ but we have been given free rein. I’ve never had that, I’ve never had a network executive say, ‘Go. Do what you do.’”
After Moore missed that last deadline, apparently Turner networks lost patience and canceled its order of the series.
The cancelation caps off a series of failures for Moore, who spent much of 2017 and 2018 trying to regain the relevance he had during the George W. Bush administration, when he was celebrated for his “investigative” documentaries into the Bush administration’s foreign policy decisions in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
But Moore’s one man Broadway show, “The Terms of My Surrender,” closed after only a 12 week run, having earned only a little more than $300,000, less than half of its gross potential, according to Forbes magazine, and receiving only “tepid” reviews. It did, however, answer its tagline question, “Can A Broadway Show Bring Down A Sitting President?”
The answer was clearly, “no.”
In 2018, Moore released “Farenheit 11/9,” a clever take on his “Farenheit 9/11” documentary, implying that President Donald Trump’s election was as destructive to the United States as a terror attack that left more than 3,000 Americans dead. Sadly, that too flopped, opening to a miserable $3 million box office take, per Fox News — a per-screen average of barely $2,000.
That’s hundreds of millions short of Moore’s other documentaries.