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Netflix cancels ‘Shadow and Bone’ after 2 seasons 

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Netflix cancels ‘Shadow and Bone’ after 2 seasons 

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Aside from ‘Shadow and Bone,’ Netflix also cancels four other shows amid industry overhaul post-strikes

MANILA, Philippines – In a shocking move, Netflix has decided to pull the plug on five of its shows, namely, Shadow and Bone, Glamorous, Agent Elvis, Farzaar, and Captain Fall. 

This decision comes in the aftermath of the months-long WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, whose impact continues to be felt within the entertainment industry.

As first reported by Deadline on Wednesday, November 15, the cancellation of these series came after evaluation by Netflix, considering factors such as performance and the aftermath of the strikes that disrupted production schedules and caused scheduling shifts across the board, leading the streaming giant to weigh the viewing figures of each show against the production costs to keep it running. 

Notably, Shadow and Bone, adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels, faced cancellation after its second season, despite drawing a substantial audience, being nominated for a Primetime Emmy in 2023 for its special visual effects, and even sparking a video game franchise

The fantasy series, featuring Jessie Mei Li as Alina Starkov, Ben Barnes as General Kirigan, and Archie Renaux as Malyen, followed Alina as she uncovered her true nature as a Grisha with unique abilities to fulfill a long-awaited role to change the fate of the Ravka nation. 

Unfortunately, Shadow and Bone experienced a decline in viewership during its sophomore season, spending five weeks on Netflix’s Top 10 English-Language TV chart without reaching the top spot, which likely factored into the decision not to renew the show. Alongside the cancellation, Netflix has also scrapped the proposed spinoff focusing on the Six of Crows, which is also part of Bardugo’s Grishaverse. 

In a post to her social media, the author of the book series took to Instagram to share that she’s “deeply disappointed” by the development. Adding that while she remains “heartbroken,” she’s also “trying to hold onto [her] very real gratitude.” 

She continued: “Most authors never get to see their work adapted. Many who do end up regretting the experience. I’m one of those lucky few who can look at an adaptation with pride and tremendous joy. I am so grateful to our writers, our crew, and our extraordinary cast who are not just wildly talented, but genuinely good people. Most of all I want to say how grateful I am to the folks reading this — whether you found your way to the books first or discovered them through the show.… Now, I’m going to go have a cry, and maybe a drink and then see where the story takes us next. No mourners, Leigh.”  

In the realm of adult animated series, Captain Fall, originally slated for a 20-episode first season, was dropped by Netflix after its original release failed to attract a large audience. This move adds to a string of cancellations in the adult animation genre, including Disenchantment, Inside Job, Q Force, and Big Mouth (which ends with Season 8 in 2024).

Netflix’s decision to cancel these shows aligns with a broader trend in the industry post-strikes, with networks and platforms all reassessing their current slates. The delays caused by the strikes, combined with heightened financial scrutiny, continues to force media companies to recalibrate their strategies moving forward in order to minimize financial losses. – with additional reports from Dana Villano/Rappler.com

Dana Villano is a Rappler intern.

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