AMC took viewers "Into the Badlands" to deliver what the cable network billed as the first "true" martial arts series on American television, but will TV fans get a chance to return to the Badlands? The Season 1 finale of the genre mash-up series aired Sunday, but AMC has yet to make an official announcement on whether it will renew the show for a second season, leaving fans just as much in the dark as M.K. (Aramis Knight) in the Abbots' chest at the end of the finale.
In discussing the potential renewal of a cable series, there is only one logical place to start -- the ratings. AMC wedged "Into the Badlands" in between its biggest hit, "The Walking Dead," at 9 p.m. EST, and the show's popular fan recap series, "Talking Dead," at 11 p.m. EST. The cable network hoped to capitalize on the zombie series' hunger (no pun intended) for more post-apocalyptic drama. That blockbuster lead in resulted in "Into the Badlands" scoring the third best cable debut ever with 8.2 million viewers. However, the show's audience declined from there. For episode 4, "Into the Badlands" drew only 2.4 million viewers after losing its "Walking Dead" lead in after that show's midseason finale the previous week. Those numbers, though, were still good enough to rank as the third highest rated cable series on TV Sunday.
Could "Into the Badlands" be successful without airing after "The Walking Dead," and is that a choice AMC even has to make -- the cable network could bring the shows back simultaneously again next fall. Or, is AMC confident enough in the series' solo ratings to give it another chance?
Series star Daniel Wu, who plays Sunny, posted a message to fans on Facebook in early December seemingly confirming the show's return, despite the lack of official word from AMC. However, the post was later deleted, suggesting nothing is certain yet behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, series star Aramis Knight, who plays M.K., says everything is still up in the air.
"I know [series creators] Al Gough and Miles Millar and [executive producer/series star] Daniel Wu recently got together in L.A. – Daniel actually came over to my house to talk about the story arc and where things would go," Knight told International Business Times of a potential second season. "They set a 90% location if we were to come back, which would be New Zealand. It's all up in the air right now, though."
Will "Into the Badlands" get renewed? Fans will have to wait on AMC to find out.
Watch a clip from the Season 1 finale below: