AMC Axes ‘Demascus,’ Starring ‘Station 19’ Alum Okieriete Onaodowan, in Reversal of Series Order

Okieriete Onaodowan
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for AMC Networks

Fans of Station 19 will have to wait a bit longer to see Okieriete Onaodowan’s return to television. AMC has canceled Demascus — in which Onadowan would have played the title character — after production on the sci-fi comedy had already begun.

According to Deadline, which reported the cancellation news, the demise of Demascus is part of the same AMC Networks tax write-down that also claimed the second seasons of Moonhaven and 61st Street and the in-development series Invitation to a Bonfire. The write-down of around $400 million pertains to “a broad mix of owned and licensed content, including legacy television series and films that will no longer be in active rotation on the company’s linear or digital platforms,” AMC Networks said in an SEC filing.

AMC ordered Demascus in February 2022, with the show joining Invitation to a Bonfire in the network’s “scripts-to-series” model. “[Demascus] is a character-driven exploration of life as an ordinary Black man in America today,” AMC said at the time. “It focuses on Demascus, a 33-year-old Black man who goes on a journey of self-discovery using an innovative new technology that allows him to experience different versions of his own life. The series follows these vivid psychological explorations and also Demascus in his primary reality.”

Janet Hubert, Caleb Eberhardt, and Shakira Ja’nai Paye joined Onaodowan on the project, with Martin Lawrence on board in a recurring role. Playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm created Demascus and executive-produced the series alongside Mark Johnson and Kirk A. Moore.

Moore, who was the showrunner of Demascus, sounded off on the cancellation news on Twitter on Friday, January 6.“Welcome to the business. This sucks. But it’s happening EVERYWHERE,” he tweeted, per Deadline. “It’s wild that no one gets to see all the very good work everyone has put into this project because of finances and issues beyond our control.”

As for Onaodowan — who exited Station 19 in November 2021 — he’ll appear in an upcoming Broadway production of A Doll’s House and in the fourth season of the Prime Video thriller Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.