Netflix had its hatchet out last night as the streaming service cancelled five shows, including the fantasy series ‘Shadow and Bone‘ after two seasons.
Based on Bardugo’s worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels, ‘Shadow and Bone’ finds us 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. With the monstrous threat of the Shadow Fold looming, Alina is torn from everything she knows to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha. But as she struggles to hone her power, she finds that allies and enemies can be one and the same and that nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. There are dangerous forces at play, including a crew of charismatic criminals, and it will take more than magic to survive.
The other cancelled shows are the Miss Benny/Kim Cattrall-fronted dramedy ‘Glamorous’ about a makeup empire, and three adult animated series – ‘Agent Elvis’, ‘Farzar’, and ‘Captain Fall’.
As with all Netflix shows, the cancellations are, at least in part, due to the production cost vs the number of people streaming the show. However, the issues have been compounded by the writer’s and actor’s strikes causing large delays in production. With the exception of ‘Shadow and Bone’, all the shows were heading into that “difficult second season”. Netflix already has a problem getting audiences to tune back in for second seasons, so unless the shows have been big breakout hits (which none of these were) big delays in returns only exacerbate the issue.
Whilst ‘Shadow and Bone’ season one was well received and drew a solid audience for Netflix, season two failed to pick up anywhere near the same amount of traction. Season two did break the top ten during its launch, but it never made it to the number one spot and dropped out after only five weeks. It is an expensive big-budget fantasy drama, which would also have been facing a longer delay in getting season three on air, so the streaming service has opted to cut its losses and not renew it.
‘Shadow and Bone’ starred Jessie Mei Li (Alina Starkov), Archie Renaux (Malyen Oretsev), Freddy Carter (Kaz Brekker), Amita Suman (Inej Ghafa), Kit Young (Jesper Fahey), Danielle Galligan (Nina Zenik), Daisy Head (Genya Safin), Calahan Skogman (Matthias Helvar), Lewis Tan (Tolya Yul-Bataar), Anna Leong Brophy (Tamar Kir-Bataar), Jack Wolfe (Wylan Hendriks), Patrick Gibson (Nikolai Lantsov) and Ben Barnes (General Kirigan).
Eric Heisserer (‘Bird Box’, ‘Arrival’) and Daegan Fryklind (‘In The Dark’, ‘Bitten’) served as writers and co-showrunners. The duo exec produced alongside author Leigh Bardugo, Shawn Levy, Josh Barry, Dan Levine, and Dan Cohen for 21 Laps Entertainment, Pouya Shahbazian (Loom Studios) and Shelley Meals. 21 Laps (‘Stranger Things’), who produced Heisserer’s Oscar-nominated film ‘Arrival’, produced the series.