Hold onto your chess pieces, fans. Sources close to the short-lived Canadian drama Endgame say the series may be coming back.
Endgame, starring Shawn Doyle (right) as a Russian chess grand master-turned Vancouver detective, has been out of production for about a year. Low ratings were cited for the cancellation by Showcase. The sets have long been struck and options on the actor’s contracts have run out.
TV Feeds My Family has learned, however, that renewed interest in the show after a recent launch on the U.S.-based Internet streaming service Hulu has the producers seriously contemplating resurrecting the series.
Endgame was one of the shows flashed on giant screens at Hulu’s Television Critics Association press tour panel last month in Pasadena, Ca. Word is that the series ranked in the Top-10 of all shows streamed at Hulu after it premiered.
Hulu, a service that is geo-blocked from Canadian screens, offers thousands of TV shows from Fox, NBC, CBS and many other broadcasters. It would be ironic if a service Canadians can’t access winds up saving a Canadian series.
According to the source, if the series continues to trend on Hulu, a second season will be ordered. Credit was also extended to a persistent Save Endgame fan campaign which has collected thousands of signatures on Facebook and other social media sites.
The main star, Doyle, TV Feeds My Family has also learned, sat out the recent pilot season in the U.S. after a deal was reached to keep him under contract should Endgame resurface. The Newfoundland native has not been prevented from guesting on other shows; tonight he makes a return appearance as a baddie on CBC’s Republic of Doyle.
No such deal, however, holds other Endgame players such as Patrick Gallagher, who played the head of hotel security always trying to heave Doyle’s mad Russian character Arkady Balagan the hell out of the premises. The series may have to be extensively re-cast should it return.
The series was produced in Vancouver and featured an elaborate hotel set. Those sets are long gone, but blueprints remain and everything could be rebuilt, we are told.
The main priority for the producers is securing the participation of showrunner and executive producer Avrum Jacobson. Source says that is in the works. The plan would be to make new episodes for Hulu as well as for Showcase.
Conventional wisdom was that Endgame lagged behind another Showcase series that was renewed last spring, King. But when ratings are examined beyond overnights to Live+3 and Live+7 data, it seems many viewers were PVRing Endgame and watching it later. One week the series jumped from 232,000 overnight, estimated viewers to 310,000 after the PVR audience was factored in.
Endgame also beat King head-to-head in A25-54 more often then not when the two shows aired in the same week.
The series is produced by Vancouver-based Thunderbird Films and sold internationally by Lions Gate. Both seem keen to ramp things back up again, according to sources. Your move, Hulu.

Follow @BillBriouxTV


  1. This is absolutely some of the best news one can hear. Everyone in Canada should be able to watch Endgame via Showcase’s site.

    Thanks, once again Bill, for being a voice for Endgame and the campaign to save it.

  2. There would be no Endgame without Avrum as the showrunner and certainly Patrick Gallagher and Katherine Isabelle would need to be re-signed alongside Sean Doyle is the series is to retain its distinctive character which is why so many fans have lobbied to save it.

  3. Bring it back with the original cast that’s what we fans have been lobbying for anything less then that would not be as brilliant, I would still watch but I would feel as if something was compromised.

  4. Hi Bill,
    We’re big fans of yours and of Endgame. That said, your comparison of ratings with KING is inaccurate. The overall ratings for KING, when it aired on the same night as Endgame, were much stronger even in the 25-54 age range. I would be happy to send you the numbers.

    While we wish all the best for Endgame and hope it succeeds, we feel compelled to set the record straight. I hope you tune into the second season of KING, we’re very proud of the show and all of the hard work the cast and crew have invested in it. http://www.facebook.com/kingseries

  5. Um, not to get off-topic, but whatever happened to KING? As far as Internet sharing went, it stopped at eight episodes, making me think it had been axed. ENDGAME’s entire run was shared.

    And before any of you blow a fuse over “piracy,” being able to see both series allowed me to blog about them and spread the word. So when I’ve recommended ENDGAME on Twitter, I had prior posts to back that up.

    Good luck, Endgame. Return!

  6. Comparing Endgame to King is as Crème de Menthe to tooth paste. I wasn’t as disappointed by a TV show cancellation since Firefly… yes Endgame is that well done and entertaining.

    Also I too recorded it as did everyone else working shift. The rating system used by the TV industry is a failed IQ test.

  7. Well, I hope to add to the campaign! I’m a new fan and would to see this show get the second chance it deserves.

  8. I WOULD LOVE FOR ENDGAME TO RETURN!!!!!!!!! I cannot understand why it got cancelled in the first place!?! Stupid shows go on for years and this breath of fresh air had not been given the chance it deserved!!!!

  9. rayne, clearly you work for Indian Grove or Shaw. Probably Indian Grove. But you are an !#[email protected]+. Never once was a new episode of King on the same night as a new episode of Endgame. One was on Sundays and the other on Mondays. Those are two different days not the same day by different names. If you are thinking that the Thursday or Saturday repeat is the day they shared then someone need tell you that ratings for repeats are not really of much significance 99% of the time. The record you set is fastest self-promotion piggy-backing strait to nonsense. rayne, i would gladly take those numbers if you are wanting to send them.

    And in the time since you wrote that the ratings for King have continued on the massive crash they were flirting with in season 1. If that trend continues there will be ZERO total viewers of King before the second season ends. Endgame went out on a respectable upward trend and never was so bad as the 11th and 12th episodes of King have sunk to. Shaw put King up against Republic Of Doyle and Criminal Minds in the Eastern time zone. That is a suicide move. Shame because finally there is a Sutherland i don’t hate in a show i don’t hate.

    I love Shawn Doyle and chess. I love Indian Grove and Gabriel Hogan. I love Aisha Tyler and political action mysteries. Showcase just happens to have a fair number of original series in recent years which i really enjoy. But i also have this saying, “XIII moves to Endgame your King“. Which is to say they will effectively take each other out or sustain each other but if one goes they all will almost certainly follow.

    Mike Cane, the first season of King was 8 episodes from the time they announced the start of production. The second season has 13 episodes.

    If Netflix, a service that Canadians are prohibited from accessing, saves a Canadian show i think that is a huge ‘in your face’ to the Bill who runs tvbythenumbers.com and habitually scoffs at the notion of any such thing and belittles shows that have had that lifeboat reach them. After the death of Combat Hospital due to Americans having Endgame revived due to Americans seems a respectable trade.

  10. Hi, I am a chess coach for an all girls chess team. The show, The Endgame, is the best. Therefore, I encourage all who are involved in the show – PLEASE create more episodes. This show really motivates me to do well with my girls chess team. Sincerely, Michelle, Philadelphia School District

  11. I had not heard of Engam3 until I got Hulu+ and I truly love the show, the cast, etc. i HOPE IT IS BROUGHT back! Thanks, Susie John, Tallahassee, Florida.

  12. Honestly, I just subscribed to Hulu and I’m impressed with the original series like Endgame and Booth at the End. Why on Earth they would cancel this series is beyond me but if they don’t get it back (or more seasons of the other original shows I like) I have no reason to keep Hulu, as I can watch NBC and ABC shows on NBC and ABC, sans Hulu.

  13. We’re from the US, just found Endgam3, and this seems like another case of a well-written, well-cast, clever ensemble show that just wasn’t given a fair chance. You’ve got our household’s vote to please get it back!

  14. I recently just discovered Hulu…and as a result Endgame…I hope it continues..I enjoy the plots and characters as well as the watching him figure the puzzles out in his head…please finish the series so there is an ending and not leave us hanging

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