Fox Cancels Hieroglyph Before It Even Airs

The miniseries was supposed to save major networks. But what if the miniseries turns out to be the networks' worst enemy!? DUN-DUN!!!

Fox has deciphered the writing on the wall and decided to cancel Hieroglyph, an ambitious Ancient Egypt-set miniseries featuring elaborate headwear that must have cost a fortune, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The network gave the project a straight-to-series order back in October, asking for 13 episodes without seeing a single filmed frame, and Hieroglyph was part of Fox's Upfronts presentation in May. The decision to yank the series involved creative reasons, which is usually a kind way of saying, "It looked like it was going to suck." 

The first episode of the miniseries had already been shot, and writers were busy breaking the rest of the stories. Filming would have started on the remaining episodes later this year with a target debut date of early 2015.

Hieroglyph was supposed to follow a thief who was forced into servitude of the Pharaoh. The popularity of Game of Thrones probably had something to do with its tone, as the series featured "palace intrigue," seductive concubines, and magic. 

The straight-to-series miniseries order has been pretty hot as networks try to keep pace with cable, but as we can see here, sometimes it just doesn't work out. Or maybe Fox took a look at the trailer and was like, "Was I drunk when I greenlit this?" 



Comments (101)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
idiot FOX , what weere you thinking yet another good show canned over the utter rubbish that gets renewed....
Reply
Flag
I don't believe there is any show on tv following the Egyptian basis. It looks better as a Starz show reshoot and take the vampire shyt out. Could be very interesting
Reply
Flag
Yeah , I thought it looked pretty okay until I saw the fangs. I think it could have been okay.
Reply
Flag
Um...the song is good? That's all I have to say.
Reply
Flag
Wow, I had no idea that everyone from ancient Egypt spoke with a British accent.
Reply
Flag
No? Hasn't TV taught you yet that every where else in the world, especially in olden times and sometimes on other worlds, that they speak English in British accents as their native tongue?

That's why I know I'd be okay should I ever find myself falling through a stargate or some kind of time hole.
2
Reply
Flag
look at vikings, 10 part mini series that is now filming its 3rd season, besides that show, we get told what to watch, what we like, we have no choice, and i dont know why everyone keeps comparing every ancient themed show to Game of thrones (love it by the way) G.O.T is fantasy, if they wanna do another ancient theme show, look at spartacus, look at why that worked and use the same ideas, it seems we only really get one decent show every 3 years, Fuck....original thought is gone on tv same as the movies now,
Reply
Flag
i think the trailer looks interesting. the fangs kinda interrupted what it was putting forth as a plot but. it’s a good trailer
Reply
Flag
It really looked like it would suck
Reply
Flag
Not enough fantasy hot meat like on Spartacus. Zzz....! Back to the burial tombs it stays!
Reply
Flag
Bring back Almost Human now.
4
Reply
Flag
I guess they finally realize how stupid this was going to be. From the beginning when they chose the cast, i had never liked it.
Reply
Flag
they should do the same to broadchurch...i mean gracepoint and fresh off the boat
Reply
Flag
It did indeed look bad, like a bad half-porn that Starz would have enjoyed...
Reply
Flag
They may have been afraid it would wind up another Cleopatra.

Reply
Flag
And the vampire teeth was very interesting, it made be think of Anne Rice and "Queen of the Damn", her definition of the original vampire.

Reply
Flag
I think a modern day story that combined the idea of mummies as being vampires might be more interesting. Although the shot doesn't exactly show whether those were vampire fangs or snake fangs.
Reply
Flag
I liked the trailer. A bit ambitious for Fox; but SyFy, Showtime or Starz would be a good fit. UPN might have taken a chance and who knows, a network might have made it happen. Fox should have given it a try. I would have watched it to see if it could carry the story and so would others; and if it held after the first episode or two it might of had a chance. People watch Hannibal and it's on it's way to a third season.
Reply
Flag
This thing looked like complete and utter trash, in every possible way. This was the right move.
2
Reply
Flag
This type of show would have never worked on Network TV. But maybe Starz or Showtime can rescue the series.
1
Reply
Flag
Starz would be a good fit.
1
Reply
Flag
Problem is, if this was filmed for Fox, there would be no T n' A, which would mean Starz would need everything reshot for more blood and tits.
Reply
Flag
Check the trailer they did have some A in it :P
1
Reply
Flag
Yeah the trailer makes it look like a Starz series already. They should go ahead and take a few months to reshoot some scenes and make it a full on series.
Flag
The trailer looks great, I'd have watched it
Reply
Flag
I was slightly intrigued. Until I saw the vampire teeth.
4
Reply
Flag
I had the exact same thing! I was going to post that I don't think it's all that bad, then my reaction got to: "Whaat? No. Never mind"
3
Reply
Flag
Recut it and put it on as a tv movie. Fox would be foolish to waste this much expense without recouping a penny.
1
Reply
Flag
Only one episode was actually shot. So I doubt there'd be enough material to turn into a movie with any kind of story arc and ending.
Reply
Flag
Generally, when they shoot a pilot episode, they shoot it pretty long and then cut it down because they are still figuring out how to craft the show's message. There's generally a mountain of content shot for a single episode, I am confident they'd have enough to just recut it to 86 minutes.

As for story content, the pilot is likely to have a simple arc that establishes characters and gives a story that goes through the first of what they were hoping would be many stories within an arc, so while it'd finish as an open-ended story, it'd still have an ending to the episode's specific story because it'd have been written to be an example to the studio of what would be to come.
Reply
Flag
Maybe you're right, though I'm still doubtful it would have worked well. Either way, we'll probably never know :)
Reply
Flag
If we don't get it, I still expect foreign market to get a release. But that's a lot of money to waste with no return.
Flag
You know, networks used to recut their failed pilots as "TV specials" all the time. I wonder why they don't anymore.
1
Reply
Flag
So let me get this straight. They view and green light and then keep The Following but they cancel this. In no way does that make sense. The Following is horrible and it is still there.
4
Reply
Flag
The Following has no need for costumes or elaborate sets. And I guess people really like cop dramas even though there are 50million of them. Oh and it has a serial killer which fascinates people.
I know I rather have this , for just variation's sake.
Reply
Flag
The power of Kevin Bacon, my friend.
2
Reply
Flag
True.
Reply
Flag
It's kind of a shame, because it was the sort of show that looked like it could have been pretty cool - which is probably why Fox initially decided to go with it. That said it would be an easy premise to mess up, too. Ah well.
1
Reply
Flag
This is starting to become a trend at Fox... I'm interested in the behind the scenes happenings here. Kevin Reilly was the one to order the show so maybe it was a case of the rest of the network not being on board. I'm not sure I would have checked it out, but maybe this should be a lesson in not jumping the gun so much.
Reply
Flag
Since there is a hole in the Fox schedule now, BRING BACK ALMOST HUMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
15
Reply
Flag
Please That was rubbish.
Reply
Flag
Bummer... I was interested in watching this...
Reply
Flag
Did I see a Vampire in that trailer? Seriously?????? No wonder it was cancelled!
1
Reply
Flag
FOX keeps writing the rules on how to get rid of viewers, they must have an exec that secretly works for another station because they really know how to screw with people. They cancel more Sci-Fi shows or screw them up than anyone else. Why do people even bring them Sci-Fi/Fantasy shows, they must pay well for pilots and scripts. I can't wait for the day when they cancel something after a pilot or week 4 and another network or cable station picks it up and becomes a 10 year multi-million dollar winner. They have destroyed more shows in the sci-fi genre with their episode moving, lack of advertising and moving premier dates only to keep cheap shows that get decent ratings but have no following and they lose out on blu-ray and itunes sales. These are the types of shows that even if they aren't the greatest they get a following and still make money but more importantly make great stories and not just cheap laughs.
Reply
Flag
I have to shake my head after reading your post.

1.) When has it EVER happened in the history of television where a network axed a series, even after a full season, and then it was picked up by another network to become a huge hit?

2.) Sci-fi/fantasy shows, for a multitude of reasons, do NOT work on the major networks. The X-Files was a major exception. Those genres certainly have solid fan bases, but the numbers simply aren't there to keep sci-fi series afloat on major networks. Go as far back as Star Trek in the 1960s and you'll see that sci-fi doesn't generally do well nationally. Star Trek didn't even become a TV hit until it went the syndication route in the 1980s.

3.) Please tell me sci-fi series that have aired on major networks other than Fox (and by that I mean NBC, ABC, and/or CBS) in the last 10 years or so and given time to develop a following in order to be a hit series.
Reply
Flag
#1 I guess they answered this one for you but my point was I would like to see it happen since they are always so quick to throw a show out without giving it a chance.

#2 I agree completely about this, my whole comment was about this very notion. Science Fiction needs to build a story and build characters and the networks don't have the flexibility to handle low points.

#3 I can't think of any off the top of my head but I know Fox was pushed to keep Fringe going by fans and the Actors and it payed off in the end. I know they were talking about cancelling this show almost every season but the crew took budget cuts to get it done and Fox only did it because of this and the fans outcry. This show was amazing from day one but they didn't have the numbers and Fox was way behind on time shifting data usage and other ways to view it. This just shows how they rely too much on Nielsen data and don't understand what viewers want in this day and age. They were also talking about possibly canceling Sleepy Hollow as well at one point.

My whole point is that in my opinion Fox hurts the genre more than they help it when they pick up these pilots since they don't give the weaker ones a chance to grab that cult following. What I don't understand is why they don't sell the shows for a loss to say Netflix or Amazon instead of just letting it die for no money. They don't seem to care about the creative side of making TV shows as much as the cable networks and this is what I was trying to get across in my post.
More +
Reply
Flag
The best example was "JAG". 1 year on NBC, then moved to CBS where it ran 9 more years

JAG was an anomaly. Usually when it happens the show only lasts 1 or 2 more seasons.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer went from the WB to UPN

Roswell went from WB to UPN

Cougar Town recently moved from ABC to TBS

The Bionic Woman went from ABC to NBC

1
Reply
Flag
Stargate SG-1. Moved from Showtime to the Sci Fi Channel. 214 episodes over 10 seasons, two spin-off live action series (Atlantis and Universe), one animated spin-off series (Infinity), two DVD movies (The Ark of Truth and Continuum) and world-wide popularity.
4
Reply
Flag
That's one cable network to another. I'm talking about the big four networks - ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox.
Reply
Flag
Ironically, Fox actually had the early syndication rights to air it 6 mos after it aired on Showtime. So, it did run on Fox as well, before moving to Sci Fi.
2
Flag
1. JAG, it a had season1 on another network channel than cbs picked it up for season2 and it ran for another 8seasons spawning 3 spinoffs (ncis , ncis la, ncis no)
1
Reply
Flag
Darn, I didn't see that you mentioned JAG before I posted. I should have read further.
Reply
Flag
Okay, JAG is a good example.....from almost 20 years ago. That's only one case though, which shows the concept is an extremely rare exception. If there had been several precedents I would give more credence to the theory that Fox could axe a failed sci-fi series and another network could pick it up to make it a success.

Sci-Fi/fantasy generally does not do well on broadcast TV. It's as simple as that. Once Upon a Time is probably the most successful major network show of its genre since The X-Files.
Reply
Flag
Fringe was pretty successful as well.
Flag
Staff
Lost was the most successful following The X-Files, I'd say. But Lost was a genre show cleverly disguised as something else, so many people didn't even realize it.

But for the most part, you're correct that genre TV does not tend to perform well on the major networks. However, the biggest genre show of last season—Sleepy Hollow—is on Fox. Try to figure out THAT one.
3
Flag
Do Southland or Buffy count?
Flag
When I first heard of this idea last year, already then I thought it was a bad idea. It's like they wanted to write a story about a thief, bus since that isn't much of an idea, they decided to set it in exotic Egypt to make it exciting. But a pretty surface can't save a rotten core.
Reply
Flag
This was a show i would have loved to Watch. I thought it would have been a new Da Vinci's Demons, but i could have been wrong and regretted watching the show.
Reply
Flag
When my wife was an NBC page she was good friends with Da Vinci's Demons creator, but still couldn't get past the second episode and she really, really wanted to like it. I thought it was okay, but gave up on it as well after 4 episodes.
Reply
Flag
It got much much better in its second season (actually started getting better the episode after you checked out, Season 1, Episode 5 which was when they introduced 'Vlad the Impaler'.) Tom Riley (Leonardo DaVinci) was fantastic. It's David S. Goyer and Tom Riley's show and they fixed what ailed it its second season and upped the order from 8 to 10 episodes and it stayed consistently good which is why it even got a 3rd which is the rarest of all things on Starz. Try it again and you just might be surprised.
2
Reply
Flag
Thanks, but no. I'm done with this...
Reply
Flag
David S. Goyer I'm pretty sure.
Reply
Flag
- They cancel what I love
- They canceled Hieroglyph
...I love Hieroglyph? Eh, it looked stupid, but I at least wanted to find out for sure. Oh well.
Reply
Flag
or Fox and the creators disagree with the direction of the show and the creators wasn't willing to work with Fox to implement the changes that Fox wanted to make to the show, so Fox cancelled it.

Reply
Flag
The trailer make look like it would be pretty good, the posters look ridiculous through and the reason I haven't look further into the picture. Shame it didn't get a chance to show what it can do.
1
Reply
Flag
Well, it looked ok but a bit silly, it's quite possibly it wasn't going to get a decent audience and probably expensive to make. Better to cancel now than air 4 or 5 episodes and get people into it then cancel it (like Rake for example).
Reply
Flag
Dang it. Sexy people in Egyptian costumes sounded like a great idea for a show to me. I definitely would've watched the pilot.
1
Reply
Flag
If FOX axes it, the show must have been decent to very good.

They so rarely ax cr*p.
7
Reply
Flag
Maybe Starz will pick it.
2
Reply
Flag
What?! I was looking forward to it...
Reply
Flag
This didn't look altogether horrible, but it sure looked a heck of a lot like Da Vinci's Demons, just with a lot less quality and a whole lot more fantasy.
Reply
Flag
It looked interested enough for me to consider watching it, but really, I can't help but feel that Fox just fast-tracked the inevitable by cancelling straight away. At least they didn't air two or three episodes and then cancel it, as what I would assume would have been the other likely outcome. They may have just saved themselves a little bit of money here.
Reply
Flag
Be sure to save the trailer on your hard drive before Fox deletes it from their account. These hypothetical shows that never make it become interesting with time. It'll become a curiosity eventually.
Reply
Flag
Hmm, the trailer didn't look that bad to me. I've certainly tuned into (and quite enjoyed) more preposterous looking shows than this one with it's Egyptian vampires. *shrug*
Reply
Flag
Can we at least see how the pilot is?
2
Reply
Flag
Hopefully someone will leak it online somewhere...
Reply
Flag
who cares?
Reply
Flag
"From the writers of "Clash of the Titans" " should have been their first clue.....
3
Reply
Flag
I'm kind of confused about this, does this mean they won't film the rest? because if it's a miniseries, cancelling it is kind of redundant since it wouldn't have a second season anyway.
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
They won't be filming the rest, which means they'll be saving a lot of money.
Reply
Flag
It can't be worse than Glee is right now. That being said, the trailer didn't make me think this show would have been anything special.
2
Reply
Flag
Well, the trailer was good. Definitely would have watched. Fox must have seen something else, something we'll never be privy to. Shame.
2
Reply
Flag
Hmm, I thought this show was ripe for a Brendan Fraser cameo. Too bad (for him).
2
Reply
Flag
I'd make a joke here - but had they done this with Sleepy Hollow before it aired I would have made the same joke. And Sleepy Hoilow turned in to my favorite show of the year.

Of course - this looked like it would have none of the humor SH has.
6
Reply
Flag
Staff
I still don't know how all of those elements in Sleepy Hollow came together into one cohesive story, but they did and it might be the best thing Fox has going for it right now. I'm not sure Hieroglyph would have been able to replicate that. Sleepy Hollow had a lot of complex moving parts within its ridiculous sounding premise, but the humor, which you pointed out, is a large part of why it works. Sleepy Hollow knows how silly and WTF it is on a certain level and it embraces that. I think Hieroglyph was going to be too serious for its own good. Plus, Egyptian vampires just aren't as cool as the Headless Horseman.
1
Reply
Flag
I actually loved the Sleepy Hollow trailer, it looked ridiculous and fun all at the same time. Unfortunately the show didn't impress me as much as it did everyone else.
5
Reply
Flag
Sleepy Hallow hells yea!!! Can't wait for S2 to start.
4
Reply
Flag
18 episodes too! I wonder if they can still keep that breakneck pace.
Reply
Flag
Networks astound me. We got DADS for cry it out loud & they wont show us this. Go figure. Yet we've got this inspiring Jane the virgin to look forward to.
4
Reply
Flag
This show would have been horrible. So awesomely, awesomely horrible....
1
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments

Like TV.com on Facebook