Killer Camp, the reality competition that combined Friday the 13th with The Mole, has been murdered by The CW, which pulled the show off its schedule after just two episodes, effectively cancelling it even though the entire season has been filmed.
This is similar to what happened to another UK production, the very fun and very weird Taskmaster, which was cancelled after just one episode was broadcast.
Killer Camp’s first two episodes are streaming free, but it’s unclear if additional episodes will be added. Deadline said that the show may eventually return to TV, but what better time for a horror-themed reality competition than October?
It’s also unclear what this will mean for an eventual broadcast in the UK, which had not yet been announced.
Season one was produced for ITV2 and aired over several nights during Halloween 2019, and then was broadcast on The CW last summer. The CW actually ordered season two, which had a mix of American and British contestants, and was still produced by the production company Tuesday’s Child.
Killer Camp will be replaced on The CW’s schedule by Masters of Illusion, the magic show hosted by Dean Cain, the actor who most recently freaked out about a comic book character’s bisexuality.
Alas, ratings for season two of Killer Camp were very low: The all-important 18-49 demo rating went from a 0.05—which was 61.54 percent lower than season one—to 0.03 for episode two, according to Nielsen data. However, the total number of viewers actually increased slightly, from 155,000 thousand viewer to 164,000.
Of course, those are ratings from a single day, and most people watch on DVR or streaming in the days and weeks after a broadcast. And almost all overnight TV ratings are abysmally low this season. Last week’s Survivor had just 5.675 million viewers, with a 0.92 in the 18-49 demo, a continuation of the slide over time that’s affecting most broadcast TV.
While I was looking forward to Killer Camp’s return, I have only seen the first episode, which felt like it improved on some of season one’s rougher edges. One of the challenges was eliminated, and there was more on-screen explanation about how, exactly, the game worked. (I reported on how the game worked last year.)
There was also more of what I loved, like host Bobby Mair’s unhinged screaming narration of the death scenes, plus a hilariously gross death scene for the first player eliminated, Basil.
At the end of the first episode, Bruce, the camp’s handyman, froze Basil solid and then smashed his head with a baseball bat, which unleashed a torrent of blood that didn’t quite make sense to me (his head was liquid but body frozen?) but was visually spectacular, in a ridiculously cheesy and over-the-top way. Episode two also ended with a decapitation—perhaps a theme this season?
Mostly, its fun that, like on ABC’s Whodunnit, eliminated Killer Camp players get to star in their own mini-slasher movies, even if they are the victim. I hope all the contestants will get a chance to see the final version of their on-screen deaths, even though the show itself has been killed off in a far less-spectacular way.