By Julie Hinds Detroit Free Press
“Low Winter Sun,” the crime drama set and shot in Detroit, won’t be returning for a second season on AMC, the network confirmed.
The series, which starred Mark Strong and Lennie James as two Detroit police detectives hiding their murder of a colleague, was overshadowed from the start by AMC’s pop-culture phenomenon, “Breaking Bad,” which preceded it on the network’s Sunday night lineup.
While the first episode drew a respectable 2.5 million viewers, the ratings plummeted soon after that. Critics were mixed in their response to the show, which some considered too bleak and confusing in its story structure.
The series was Detroit’s second chance at being home to a prime-time drama. ABC’s “Detroit 1-8-7” also survived for only one season.
“Low Winter Sun” launched in August with a dedication to Detroit authenticity.
Dialogue was debated for whether it would ring true, and local crew members contributed Motor City perspectives.
The opening title sequence offered glimpses of mean streets and the bright spot of Detroit gem Bettye LaVette singing in a club. By the second episode, there were scenes of scrappers stripping copper pipes from a stately abandoned building and mentions of the Dream Cruise, coneys and the budget crunch’s impact on the Detroit Police Department.
In October, executive producer Mundy hadn’t given up hope that the series would return for a second go-round.
As late as mid-November, AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan was talking like the verdict wasn’t in on the “effect of what happens between seasons,” a reference to the show’s chances on binge-watching like video on demand.
“I thought that the last few episodes were quite different.
“We’ll have to evaluate exactly what we do and how much benefit the mid-season/off-season effect can be. But it’s not to be underestimated,” said Sapan, according to the Hollywood Reporter.