FX cancels 30 Days; Survivorman also ending

Two high-quality but lower-buzz cable reality series are coming to an end.

FX’s only reality series, 30 Days, has been cancelled after three seasons. The show was inspired by Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Super Size Me, and gave one person the chance to live someone else’s life for a month. It first debuted in 2005.

Its cancellation was “confirmed Thursday,” according to Broadcasting & Cable, which reports that although “the decision will leave a void of unscripted shows on the channel, a spokesperson says the network is not shutting down its unscripted development altogether.”

The best episodes were those that starred Spurlock, as the R.J. Cutler-produced series never managed to find anyone as charismatic or articulate who could walk us through the experience like he could. That explains why he was featured in two episodes for the show’s final season. The first two seasons are on DVD (30 Days – Season 1 and 30 Days: The Complete Second Season).

Also done after three seasons: Discovery’s Survivorman, which debuted its third and now final season on Friday. The show features Les Stroud demonstrating how to survive in various situations. Unlike Discovery’s Man vs. Wild, which was revealed to be disingenuous, or even fake, Stroud films the entire series himself. (Its first and second season are on DVD.)

Reuters reports that Stroud “is filming his final adventure in Papua New Guinea this month, which will wrap up his third season as Survivorman,” and “he’s tired of it all and ending his popular series about living in the wild.”

Stroud says, “You can only do seven days surviving without food a certain number of times a year. I’m pleased with what I have done, I’ve been copied around the world, but 25 times I’ve not eaten anything for a week while sleeping on rocks. I need to move on.”

Exclusive: FX Cancels ’30 Days’ [Broadcasting & Cable]
Living in the wild takes toll on TV’s “Survivorman” [Reuters]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.