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.
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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