Michael Moore’s career dive continues with the news that his much-ballyhooed return to television is no more. Late last week, TBS announced it would not go forward, as announced in May of 2017, with Michael Moore Live From the Apocalypse.
Although it had a new title, this new show was supposed to be a reboot of Moore’s docu-series TV Nation, which ran for two seasons and a total of 17 episodes back in 1994. In 2000, Moore produced a similar non-fiction show, The Awful Truth, for two seasons on the cable channel Bravo.
According to Deadline, the new show never came off because Moore is just so gosh-darned busy. Besides Twitter, there was The Terms of My Surrender, Moore’s anti-Trump, one-man Broadway show in July of 2017, and in September of 2018, Moore released his anti-Trump documentary Fahrenheit 11/9.
This “too busy” excuse is of course absurd.
One movie in 2018.
One Broadway show in 2017.
There are plenty of people who can walk and chew gum at the same time, plenty of people who can spin more than one plate, and Moore has access to all kinds help — producers, writers, directors who can pick up most of the load under his executive direction.
Even so, even if Mr. Moore was too busy over the last 18 months, why pull the plug on the TV show now?
What’s more, why not allow Moore to make the announcement that cancelling the TV show was his decision?
You see, that is usually how these things are done in order to save face.
A good example is the movie Lincoln. For years, director Steven Spielberg was dedicated to making a film about our 16th president with actor Liam Neeson in the lead role. But once the project was officially greenlit, Spielberg changed his mind and decided to cast Daniel Day-Lewis. Out of respect for Neeson, he was allowed to release a statement announcing it was his decision to drop out.
Compare that to Moore, who just got the rug pulled out from under him. No TV show for you!
The reasons for the canceled TV show are pretty obvious. Moore is damaged goods. Those two projects that supposedly kept him away from his TV Nation reboot…? The Broadway show and Fahrenheit 11/9…? Both were humiliating failures.
According to Wikipedia, The Terms of My Surrender lasted for only 96 performances and grossed just 49 percent of its potential for those 96 performances.
As far as Fahrenheit 11/9, it was one of the all-time humiliations in box office history. After a wide release in 1719 theaters, this sequel to Moore’s record-breaking, $120 million sensation Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), grossed a disastrous $6.4 million.
What’s more, this flop occurred right in the middle of a documentary resurgence, where RBG grossed $14 million, Free Solo, A Beautiful Planet, They Shall Not Grow Old, and Won’t You Be My Neighbor grossed between $14 million and $22 million.
It gets worse…
Despite having the establishment political and entertainment media at his command to gin up free publicity and glowing reviews, despite being released in almost twice as many theaters, Moore’s anti-Trump documentary only barely out-grossed Dinesh D’Souza’s pro-Trump documentary Death of a Nation — $6.4 million compared to $5.9 million, and they were released within six weeks of each other.
What’s more, despite all those advantages, D’Souza opened to a stronger a per screen average of $2,345 compared to Moore’s pathetic $1,750.
Since 2012, D’Souza, has delivered three hit documentaries that grossed between $13 million and $33 million. Since 2009, Moore has delivered three box office catastrophes that grossed between $6.4 million and $149,000.
Which is the long way of saying the era of Michael Moore is over, and no one wants to watch his dumb TV show, and TBS knows it.