There was bad news this week as Netflix cancelled Lockwood & Co — could Shadow and Bone be next
We were disappointed but not surprised when we learned (via Variety) of the cancellation of Lockwood & Co. Bottom line it was a decent show, fans liked it but there weren’t enough. In these more constrained and competitive times Netflix is sticking to the unfortunate tradition of killing off well-liked but expensive to produce shows with low audience.
We followed the agonisingly slow announcement of The Sandman‘s renewal and at times that seemed far from certain. While it seems the industry is focussed on short / mid-term audience over building brands (and there are efforts such as with The Witcher), cheaper to make shows seem more likely to be renewed. Without knowing actual costs, we expect licence costs / costume / set / CGI / cast to all be factors, and it’s revealing ABC has already renewed new series Not Dead Yet (on Disney+ in the UK) even with the writers’ strike in Hollywood (more on this here) and big costume drama Bridgerton (and spin-offs) looks set to continue for years to come. There are also plenty of new shows across all genres, but Netflix does seem to struggle to hang its hat (so to speak) on this type of YA show and give it long enough to shine.
The list of cancellations grows every longer, and we begin to wonder when and where the next Stranger Things or Wednesday will emerge from.
So what about Shadow and Bone?
It seems to us Netflix put a lot more marketing muscle behind Shadow and Bone than the now cancelled Lockwood & Co. We do wonder if the showrunner had his concerns; while considering a Six of Crows spin-off, season 2 of Shadow and Bone also crammed in the content of two novels. It made for a complete story, even if it did feel like a lot was happening in few episodes. Coincidentally, Lockwood & Co also covered two (of five) novels in its appearance.
We now believe the renewal of Shadow and Bone is less likely than we did. It seems many fans do as well as reviewers — we’ve read of fans streaming the show non-stop multiple times to get the numbers up without watching. We would be surprised if Netflix were that easy to fool.
We’re still hoping, but suspect this is all part of a market shift away from the numbers of intriguing cult shows we’ve become used to. That’s even without considering the Hollywood writers’ strike may well lead to a rise in the number of unscripted reality shows. While these shows have a market, we’d rather it wasn’t at the expense of the shows with a supernatural leaning.
Which brings us to Not Dead Yet
And before anyone else mentions it, yes Not Dead Yet does have the following plot:
Nell Serrano (Gina Rodriguez), a broke and newly single self-described disaster, works to restart the life and career she left behind 10 years ago; when she lands the only job she can find — writing obituaries, she starts getting life advice from an unlikely source.
What is doesn’t say is this advice comes from the ghosts of the recently deceased. As with Ghosts (both UK and US versions) there’s always a place for the quirky and other-worldly somewhere in the schedule!