I feel blindsided by this. Only a few months ago the producers of BYUtv’s lauded fray into original dramatic programming, Granite Flats, announced the series would debut its third season on Netflix, along with streaming previous seasons. That season has yet to even air on television, which won’t happen until October.
Well it seems that is less of a fun perk and more of a way to secure the show’s legacy after production wraps, because Granite Flats is done, folks. In a blog post on BYUtv’s website (which is a .org – interesting?), showrunner Scott Swofford discusses the impending demise of Granite Flats, telling us that season three is its last. No más.
There’s not much info in the rest of the three-paragraph note, other than the usual pabulum, and no cited reason for the show ending, aside from the following:
“We look forward to what is on the horizon in the form of additional scripted content at BYUtv and have chosen to concentrate resources on these ideas and forego producing a fourth season of Granite Flats. We are confident our Granite Flats audience will be just as excited with the new shows, stories, and characters currently in development so stay tuned for further announcements soon.”
So is this because of unbearable ennui on the part of producers? Contract trouble with the cast? A bold new television model where producers stop making popular content altogether because the entire production team wants to do something else? Are we going to live in a meta BYUtv world where Parker Posey, George Newborn, Christopher Lloyd, and others are basically “The BYUtv Players” and the entire cast just shifts from show to show, like some Mormon version of The Fountain?
I want answers, and Scott’s not giving them.
And in the interest of full disclosure: I’ve never seen an episode of the show. My wife has watched maybe three, but I was too busy Reaganing to pay attention.
But for fans of Granite Flats, this certainly comes as an unexpected blow. I know the pain of having beloved shows prematurely canceled, but at least there’s typically a reason behind it. All we can understand from this announcement is that BYUtv probably has a limited budget, so the showrunners were in a good, better, best situation: keep with the hit show while unable to develop new content or ditch the old stalwart for the prospect of flashy new things. It’s a tough call in the world of low-budget projects.
On the flipside, perhaps not as many people watched it as we thought and the numbers just didn’t merit another season.
But hey, at least we have basically every streaming platform except Hulu.
Update: Our own Joseph Peterson raised a good point. Apparently old Granite High School, which stands in for Granite Flats Junior High, is slated for redevelopment into condos. That hasn’t stopped productions from scouting new locations in the past, but it could be a factor in the show not going forward.