The Trickster TV show will have a shorter than expected lifespan. The drama series, which originates on CBC in Canada, is currently airing its first season on The CW. Trickster had already been renewed for a second season in Canada but now, those plans have been cancelled.
The Trickster TV show is based on the bestselling trilogy of novels by Eden Robinson. The series stars Joel Oulette, Crystle Lightning, Craig Lauzon, Kalani Queypo, Anna Lambe, Nathan Alexis, Joel Thomas Hynes, Gail Maurice, and Georgina Lightning. Set in Kitimat, British Columbia, the story follows Jared (Oulette), an Indigenous teen who struggles to keep his dysfunctional family above water. Jared holds down an after-school job and cooks ecstasy on the side to support his separated parents. But, when Jared starts seeing strange things, his already chaotic life is turned upside down. At first, Jared thinks he’s losing his mind but, to his relief and terror, the supernatural events surrounding him are all too real.
On The CW, the first season of Trickster is averaging a 0.08 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 410,000 viewers. Three of the six episodes have aired.
The cancellation of the second season by CBC comes a month after Trickster co-creator and director Michelle Latimer resigned from the series due to a controversy over her claimed Indigenous ancestry. Latimer publicly apologized for naming the Kitigan Zibi community in western Quebec as part of her family history before “doing the work to formally verify this linkage.”
Two producers of the series announced their resignations soon after the questions were raised. Consulting producer Danis Goulet quit and co-creator, co-showrunner, and executive producer Tony Elliot said he withdrew from his role as co-showrunner but would stay on as an executive producer.
On Facebook, Latimer wrote, “It’s with a heavy heart that I am resigning from Season 2 of Trickster. When I first read the novels that inspired Trickster, I was struck by the powerful tale of a family coming together to overcome adversity. I envisioned this story as a television series that would celebrate Indigenous talent and amplify Indigenous voices. I have listened to my community and feel that stepping away from the production is the appropriate course of action.” Latimer also wrote, “I stand by who I am and by my family’s history, but I also understand what is being asked of me. I recognize my responsibility to be accountable to the community and my fellow artists, and that is why I have made this decision.”
Now, CBC has decided to cancel the show and released the following statement:
Statement regarding Trickster
Jan 29, 2021
We have had many conversations over the last few weeks with a view to continuing production on a second season of Trickster. Those conversations included producers, writers, actors, and the author of the books on which Trickster is based.
Fully respecting everyone’s perspective, season two will not move forward as planned unfortunately.
CBC is extremely proud we were able to bring this compelling story to the screen and are grateful to the many talented individuals who made it possible.
We are as committed as ever to telling other important Indigenous stories, of which there are many. In fact, CBC currently has eight such scripted projects in development and we look forward to sharing more details about what’s next in the coming months.
Statement from author Eden Robinson:
“One of the best parts of 2020 was watching the young, Indigenous cast soar. The outpouring of support for the first season was magical. I’m deeply grateful that CBC and Sienna respect this situation. It gives me hope that future collaborations with Indigenous creatives can be done with care and integrity.”
Of the decision to cancel, Latimer said, “I was not involved in the decision that was announced today and am sad to hear that Season 2 has been cancelled. … I am incredibly proud of the entire team that worked so hard to bring Trickster to life, and I will forever be grateful to the cast and crew that poured their hearts and souls into its creation.”
The CW is expected to air the remaining three episodes of Trickster but that will be where the story ends, at least on television. Martin’s third novel in the Trickster book series, Return of the Trickster, is expected to be released in March.
What do you think? Have you been watching the Trickster TV show? Are you sorry to hear that there won’t be a second season on CBC or The CW?