Netflix had renewed the teen drama for a second outing back in July 2019 – and with a raft of big questions left hanging at the end of its first chapter, its fans were eager for more.
But as it stands, we'll never know if the teens of West Ham made it back home, or why they were stranded in a parallel universe in the first place.
The identity of Becca's baby daddy will remain a mystery, and the fate of Allie and Will following the coup by Campbell, Harry and Lexie will remain unresolved.
Can’t believe @netflix has cancelled The Society. If the reason is Covid I don’t mind waiting another year or two for it, but please don’t cancel one of the best shows on Netflix and leave us on such a cliffhanger #savethesociety pic.twitter.com/A6BcmAqM2a— Alex Robinson (@alexrobinsn) August 22, 2020
. @netflix so ur cancelling the society, (a show with so much representation and an actual INTERESTING STORYLINE) after 1 season, but are giving riverdale a 5th??? chile... #savethesociety pic.twitter.com/OaYhVzWDhH— kyra | #savethesociety (@clexa3ndgame) August 22, 2020
The audacity of netflix to have a planned 2nd season of the society, have the cast, crew and scripts ready to go, the fans waiting, only to CANCEL it even though it would have definitely trended top 5 and have stayed there for weeks is bullshit. #savethesociety— caitlin | save the society!! (@kingmxjup) August 22, 2020
So, why did Netflix decided to pull the plug?
In a statement, the streaming giant blamed COVID-19, saying: "We've made the difficult decision not to move forward with second seasons of The Society and I Am Not Okay With This.
"We're disappointed to have to make these decisions due to circumstances created by COVID."
A source told The Hollywood Reporter [THR] that despite being happy with how both shows performed, the "uncertainty" over air dates, "unexpected budget increases" due to the pandemic, and the complications of managing a big cast were obstacles that proved too big to overcome.
Chatting to Variety, showrunner Chris Keyser described the news as "extremely upsetting", adding: "We spent the last bunch of months getting ready to go back again, dealing with all the COVID protocols. And then I got a call from Netflix saying, 'We have made this decision.' It was obviously pretty upsetting and abrupt."
He discussed how, in his plans, the show had the potential to run for five seasons – which, given Netflix's recent cancellation track record, is wishful thinking.
Keyser also acknowledged the central "challenges" that the show was facing going into season two, such as "the rise in the budget", which align with the comments made by THR's source.
"[Season two] was meant to be shot mostly in the summer, but we were heading back into fall and winter," he said. "And then they made the decision that it was too much.
"I can't pretend I'm surprised. I know we had many months of conversations about the challenges of producing in this environment."
And he accepted that the "large cast and scenes often with a fair number of people" were a "disadvantage" in the current climate.
Much of the fan discourse about the show's cancellation has centred on Netflix's commitment to Riverdale, which continues to air while The Society and countless other titles are terminated prematurely.
It's become a running theme whenever the company announces a fresh axing – but it's essential to note that Riverdale belongs to The CW, and not to Netflix.
The broadcaster struck a deal with the streamer in 2011. The terms allowed certain CW shows to air on the platform once they had finished their respective runs on network TV, giving international audiences a chance to enjoy them.
Both companies put pen to paper again in 2016 to keep the ball rolling.
That deal wasn't renewed last year, which meant Batwoman and the Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene (which has since been cancelled), among others, were not available to Netflix subscribers.
But shows which arrived before 2019, such as Riverdale, would continue to air on Netflix, with future seasons released eight days after the network finale airs.
Netflix is known for being secretive when it comes to ratings and the various inner workings of the company. But the fact that it has continued to stick with Riverdale suggests that the show is profitable for the platform.
The Society, unfortunately, has proven not to be.
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