Last week, Netflix cancelled it’s original series Sense8. The sci-fier with a large geek following was a critical darling, who considered the drama gripping and innovative, as well as progressive in its many themes of discrimination, pansexuality, transgender and gay rights, just to name a few.
Unfortunately, it was also expensive.
“After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end,” VP of Original Content Cindy Holland said in a statement
Created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski, the sci-fier followed a group of eight individuals throughout the globe as the multinational cast discover they can share each other’s thoughts, feelings and lives.
Starring Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Tuppence Middleton, Max Riemelt, Miguel Ángel Silvestre and Brian J. Smith, the show managed to last two eye-popping seasons before getting the axe from the streaming service.
However, fanboys being fanboys and with great sci-fi being a rarity, a petition was immediately drawn up and passed around. In addition to the petition, fans attempted to rise a grass roots campaign by using the hashtags #RenewSense8 and #BringBackSense8, but with little luck.
In a statement on Facebook, Netflix reps stated:
“To our Sense8 family . . . We’ve seen the petitions. We’ve read the messages. We know you want to #RenewSense8, and we wish we could #BringBackSense8 for you. The reason we’ve taken so long to get back to you is because we’ve thought long and hard here at Netflix to try to make it work but unfortunately we can’t. Thank you for watching and hope you’ll stay close with your cluster around the world. #SensatesForever.”
The petition, which nailed over half a million signatures, was also killed, but with plenty of remorse, from chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
“They did a beautiful show… the audience was very passionate, but not large enough to support the economics of something that big, even on our platform,” said the exec at the Producers Guild of America conference.
“A big expensive show for a huge audience is great! A big, expensive show for a tiny audience is hard even in our model to make that work very long.”
And alas, expensive it was. At one point, the show was said to carry a $9 million price tag per episode, making the series one of the most expensive in the history of the boob tube. At that price, the show become the streaming services’ biggest flop, rivaling previous “winner” Marco Polo.
Now in the wake of the cancellation, like so many shows caught unprepared for not returning, the series ends on a cliffhanger. It is unknown at this time if the show will ever be resolved.
Will Sense8 pull a Quantum Leap, leaving fans in flux for the decades that follow? Or will it resolve its storylines a year, five years, or in the case of Twin Peaks, 26 years after the fact?
Only time and a streaming service or network with deep pockets can tell for sure.