AMC Cancels <i>Rubicon</i>

In a disappointing yet not exactly unexpected move, AMC announced this morning that it won't renew the political thriller Rubicon for a second season.

The drama's August premiere set a ratings record for the cable channel -- one shattered last month by The Walking Dead -- but the tense conspiracy story had difficulty maintaining an audience. Although Rubicon began the season with 2 million viewers, it ended with slightly more than half that number.

The series, which centered around an intelligence analyst at a national think tank who discovers that a cabal has been secretly manipulating world events, received high marks for its acting and atmosphere but was criticized for its slow pace and unwillingness to provide answers.

"Rubicon gave us an opportunity to tell a rich and compelling story, and we're proud of the series," AMC said in a statement. "This was not an easy decision, but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a phenomenally talented and dedicated team."

The cancellation marks the network's first stumble since its re-entry into original programming in 2007 with Mad Men, which was followed a year later by Breaking BadOn Monday AMC greenlit its newest series, The Walking Dead, for a 13-episode second season. Those three will be joined in 2011 by an adaptation of the Danish crime miniseries The Killing, and the Western Hell on Wheels.

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