altered carbon canceled

Altered Carbon/Netflix

Netflix’s ‘Altered Carbon’ canceled—it may be too expensive to film amid COVID-19

This is the third Netflix cancellation in a week, suggesting concerns about filming expensive live-action dramas during a pandemic.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 27, 2020

High-concept sci-fi drama Altered Carbon has been canceled at Netflix, following two live-action seasons and a cartoon spinoff. As is often the case with Netflix, we don’t know how many people were watching the show compared to similar competitors like Westworld and The Expanse. The streaming service only releases viewing data for major hits, and it’s likely that Altered Carbon just didn’t have the numbers to support its big budget.

So far there’s no sign of a coordinated renewal campaign like we saw with Sense8 and The OA. The cast seems to have accepted the cancellation though, with a couple posting farewell messages:

It’s not unusual for Netflix to cancel shows after just two seasons, even if they have a significant fanbase. However, we may see this happen even more often thanks to COVID-19.

Last week Netflix also canceled The Society and I Am Not Okay With This, despite both receiving positive reviews and reportedly being “well liked” by Netflix execs. The Society had even been renewed for another season prior to its cancellation, so the news was upsettingly abrupt for the show’s cast and crew.

COVID-19 safety concerns will make filming TV shows and movies far more complicated and expensive for the foreseeable future. In addition to the obvious dangers of filming crowd scenes or having large crews working on indoor sets, creators will be discouraged from hiring older actors or employees with preexisting health conditions, as this will make it harder for projects to get insured. Altered Carbon has a sprawling ensemble cast and frequently involves crowds and hand-to-hand combat scenes indoors, so it’s easy to see why this would be a difficult show to continue filming.

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*First Published: Aug 27, 2020, 6:27 am CDT