Fans around the world were bitterly disappointed when news broke earlier this month that Netflix’ Sense8 series was cancelled. Hundreds of thousands of fans signed a petition, social media was filled with calls to reconsider – but it seems there just weren’t enough viewers out there for the highly-praised series.
One of the co-stars of the series, Brian J. Smith, wrote a lengthy letter to the fans of the show, thanking them for their support, and explaining the real reasons behind the cancellation. In addition, Netflix’ chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, spoke this weekend on the cancellation and explained why it just had to happen despite the outcry.
Sense8, created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski along with writer J. Michael Straczynski, was a very expensive show for Netflix to produce. According to some reports, each episode of the globe-spanning series cost $9 million, as the series was filmed on location across nine countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico and the United States.
Brian J. Smith, who portrayed police officer (and one of the “sensates”) Will Gorski on Sense8, was one of the driving forces behind the campaign to save to the show. Back on May 30, before the official cancellation decision was even made public, Brian took to Twitter to urge fans to “start making some noise,” otherwise the show might get cancelled.
This might be a good time to start making some noise. https://t.co/N08EgzD8E4
— Brian J. Smith (@BrianJacobSmith) May 30, 2017
In his latest letter to the show’s fans, Brian explained that at that point he already knew the show was about to get cancelled, yet he hoped things could still change.
“I had a pretty clear idea by that point that Netflix had made their move, and I also knew from previous experience that once a cancellation is announced there is no going back. It is absolutely final, and the fans are left feeling helpless and angry.
“I stepped out of my lane and preempted the official announcement because you, our cluster, deserved to have your voices heard. And you came roaring back in a way I wasn’t expecting. It was beyond awesome. I guarantee you, you were seen and you were heard.”
And indeed, after Brian’s Tweet and Netflix’ official announcement that Sense8 has been cancelled, a petition to save it was started, and was signed by more than 490,000 supporters so far. Alas, nothing helped, and Netflix eventually announced that the show’s cancellation is final.
You guys are so awesome. Your messages have gotten me through the last few days. Sending my love from Chichester. Yes I'm blonde now lol pic.twitter.com/DrS8x1eXTm
— Brian J. Smith (@BrianJacobSmith) June 2, 2017
Speaking this weekend at the “Produced By Conference” in Los Angeles, as the Wrap reported, Ted Sarandos, who is the content boss at Netflix, explained why the numbers simply didn’t work for Sense8, and therefore its cancellation was inevitable.
“We couldn’t support those economics. If you put all your money into something that a very few people are watching, eventually you’ll have nothing for people to watch.”
Sarandos went on to praise Sense8 saying it was “incredibly ambitious” and broke new ground as a series that dealt with gender and identity in new ways. He noted the audience was indeed very passionate, but not big enough for such an expensive show – even on a platform like Netflix, which traditionally ignores – or at least doesn’t reveal – show’s ratings.
This, of course, won’t help to console the show’s fans, who were particularly angry at the fact that the series will never get its resolution. Season 2 concluded with a major cliffhanger, and now we will never know how it was supposed to turn out at the end.
Brian J. Smith addressed that issue as well, saying in his letter that the saddest part about Sense8’s cancellation is the fact that future audiences will never bother watching it, now that they know there’s no proper ending. However, Brian told the fans that their struggle to save the show is exactly the ending it deserved, and they should never forget that.
“Please know that the fight you all put up in trying to save something that you loved will forever be the ‘final season’ of Sense8. YOU have given the show the ending it deserved. Even if that fight didn’t have a happy ending, it meant something.”
At this point, all viewers can hope for is to at least get some resolution from the series writer, J. Michael Straczynski.
And BTW: while much annoyance may go to @Netflix for taking Sense8 off, they were also willing to put us on and that was brave and noble.
— JMichael Straczynski (@straczynski) June 9, 2017
As an avid social media user who regularly interacts with his fans (going back to his days as the creator of Babylon 5), there’s a good chance we’ll at least get some unrevealed plot details from Season 3, which we will unfortunately never get to see on our TVs.
[Featured Image by Netflix]