EXCLUSIVE: Netflix will not be going forward with more seasons of live-action series Shadow and Bone and Glamorous and adult animated comedies Agent Elvis, Farzar and Captain Fall.
The decision was made a week after the end of the SAG-AFTRA strike and a month and a half after the end of the WGA work stoppage as networks and platforms continue to evaluate the impact from the strike-related seven-month production shutdown.
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While there had been a slew of series cancellations and un-renewals by linear networks and streamers during and immediately after the strikes, Netflix had largely refrained from making cancellation decisions during the past 6½ months while announcing a number of renewals, including One Piece (S2), Ginny & Georgia (S3 and S4); The Lincoln Lawyer (S3), XO, Kitty (S2), Heartstopper (S2 and S3), The Night Agent (S2 picked up on the eve of the WGA strike), The Diplomat (S2), Fubar (S2), Sweet Magnolias (S4) and Castlevania: Nocturne (S2).
As usual, series’ performance vs. cost played a major role in Netflix’s decisions. In the case of Shadow and Bone, Glamorous, Agent Elvis, Farzar and Captain Fall, there were additional factors too.
The delays in writing and filming due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes have scrambled networks and streamers’ scheduling plans, with shows missing their projected launches to create a pipeline logjam for late 2024 and 2025. The production shutdown also makes for big gaps between seasons, with freshmen going into Season 2 the most vulnerable if they have not broken out in a big way like The Night Agent and One Piece have. All the newly canceled series except for Shadow and Bone had only aired one season.
Additionally, the strikes coincide with a period of increased financial scrutiny among most media companies, which have been recalibrating their linear and streaming strategies. There likely will be more cancellation decisions in the coming weeks as networks continue to examine their slates post-strikes.
In adult animation, Netflix is going through a transition period. The department’s new leadership, set late last year when Billy Wee was tapped as Director of Adult Animation, are starting to put their stamp with their development slate as Netflix continues to invest in the genre, which has delivered such hits as Bojack Horseman, Big Mouth, F is for Family, and Disenchantment. Agent Elvis, Farzar and Captain Fall were all developed and greenlighted by the previous adult animation regime.
Captain Fall‘s cancellation comes in the midst of Season 1. The animated series had been picked up for a 20-episode first season to air in two parts. The decision not to proceed comes after Part 1, released in July, failed to draw a large audience.
Shadow and Bone is the highest-profile series and the only sophomore entry in the group. Inspired by Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels, it developed devoted following by fans and has been an important title for Netflix, also spawning a video game franchise for the streamer.
However, Season 2 of the big-budget fantasy drama, which launched in March, did not have the same impact Season 1 did. The series spent five weeks in the weekly Top 10 for English-language series without getting to No.1. That, coupled with the potential delay of Season 3, likely factored into the decision not to move forward.
The growing list of TV series canceled during or after the strikes include ABC’s The Rookie: Feds and Home Economics; Fox’s Welcome To Flatch; Freeform’s Praise Petey; Paramount+’s Rabbit Hole, Fatal Attraction and Joe Pickett; MGM+’s Chapelwaite; Prime Video’s The Peripheral and A League Of Their Own; HBO’s The Idol and Winning Time; Apple TV+’s The Afterparty, City On Fire, Suspicion and High Desert; Starz’s Heels, Run The World, Blindspotting, Ava DuVernay romantic drama series and The Venery of Samantha Bird; and Showtime’s Gattaca, Seasoned and I Love that for You.
Shadow and Bone, from creator, writer and executive producer Eric Heisserer, is set in a war-torn world where lowly soldier and orphan Alina Starkov has just unleashed an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her country free. Jessie Mei Li stars as Alina Starkov, along with Archi Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young and Ben Barnes.
Glamorous, which originated as a pilot for the CW, debuted on Netflix in July. It was created and executive produced by Jordan Nardino, with executive producers Damon Wayans Jr. and Kameron Tarlow. CBS Studios is the studio. The series tells the story of Marco Mejia (Miss Benny), a young gender non-conforming queer man whose life seems to be stuck in place until he lands a job working for legendary makeup mogul Madolyn Addison (Kim Cattrall).
Matthew McConaughey voices Elvis Presley, in Agent Elvis, which debuted in March. He also executive produces the series from Priscilla Presley and John Eddie, Sony Pictures Animation, Authentic Brands Group and Titmouse. Co-created by Priscilla Presley and Eddie, in Agent Elvis, Elvis Presley trades in his jumpsuit for a jet pack when he is covertly inducted into a secret government spy program to battle the dark forces that threaten the country he loves – all while holding down his day job as the King Of Rock ‘n Roll.
Farzar, which debuted in July 2022, is a sci-fi comedy that follows Prince Fichael and his crew as they venture out of their domed human city to fight the evil aliens that want to kill and/or eat them. It hails from Paradise PD creators and executive producers Roger Black and Waco O’Guin, Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment and Bento Box Entertainment.
Captain Fall comes from Norseman creators Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen with voice cast led by Jason Ritter, Christopher Meloni, Lesley-Ann Brandt and Anthony Carrigan. The comedy follows a wet-behind-the-ears, yet good-hearted sea captain who unwittingly finds himself at the helm of a smuggling ship for a terrible international cartel who’s using him as a fall guy in case the authorities ever catch up to them.
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