Netflix has cancelled another show and this one didn't even make it to production, though larger issues are being reported at the streaming platform that has seen several layoffs and further cancellations.
As reported by The Wrap (opens in new tab), Netflix has scrapped the long-awaited comicbook adaption of Bone from writer Jeff Smith. Additionally, Netflix director of creative leadership and development for original animation Phil Rynda has been dismissed from his role along with a number of his employees too.
Bone's narrative focuses on Fone Bone and his two cousins, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone, as the trio venture into a mysterious valley after being kicked out of their hometown of Bonneville. The comicbook ran from 1991 to 2004, receiving great critical acclaim and numerous awards. A Netflix adaptation was first announced in October 2019 but will now not see the light of day.
The reasons for this were put down to an overhaul in the Netflix Animation department with several series failing to receive renewals off the back of strong "word-of-mouth" and "critical praise" alone. Mixed messaging and pressure from higher-ups in the sector have also seen animation workers flock to competitors at Disney, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network.
This has been further spurred on by Netflix's loss of 200,000 subscribers over the past three months and why the platform is considering introducing a cheaper ad-supported subscription tier, something it previously shied away from.
"We want to be the home of everybody's favourite show," Rynda, who previously worked on Adventure Time and Gravity Falls, told one Netflix animation producer upon starting at the company (via The Wrap (opens in new tab)). This philosophy changed over time to "we want to make what our audience wants to see" said the same producer, attributing that new thesis to Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings. If the details of the report are true, this all points to a turmoil period and time of uncertainty at the studio.
Cancellations, whether they be animation-related or not, are also becoming increasingly frequent at Netflix: Archive 81, On The Verge, and Locke & Key were all dropped in the last month alone. In fact, more than half a dozen Netflix shows have been cancelled this year so far with most of them only one or two seasons into their lifespan. No doubt, this is frustrating for those fans who invest in the series and therefore is likely another cause for the abundance of people unsubscribing.