Netflix is pulling the plug on two previously renewed scripted series amid an array of issues brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The second seasons of both The Society and I Am Not Okay With This have been scrapped. Sources say The Society creator Chris Keyser informed cast Friday. The series had already been casting new roles for season two.
YA drama The Society was picked up for a second run in July 2019 and scripts had not yet been crafted for the sophomore run. I Am Not Okay With This had been quietly renewed though not publicly announced, with scripts completed for the sophomore run.
“We’ve made the difficult decision not to move forward with second seasons of The Society and I Am Not Okay With This,” Netflix said in a statement Friday. “We’re disappointed to have to make these decisions due to circumstances created by COVID, and we are grateful to these creators, including: Jonathan Entwistle, Christy Hall, Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Dan Cohen and Josh Barry at 21 Laps Entertainment for I Am Not Okay With This; Chris Keyser, Marc Webb and Pavlina Hatoupis for The Society; and all the writers, casts and crews who worked tirelessly to make these shows for our members around the world.”
While Netflix was pleased with the performance of both shows, sources say the uncertainty surrounding production dates, efforts to balance the needs and scheduling availabilities of a large cast (like The Society) and unexpected budget increases because of the pandemic prompted both cancellations.
Created by Keyser and starring Kathryn Newton, The Society revolved around a group of teens who are forced to take matters into their own hands when they return from a school trip to discover that all the adults are missing and there is no way out of town. Season two was scheduled to air this year.
Based on Chuck Forsman’s graphic novel I Am Not Okay With This, Jonathan Entwistle — who previously adapted Forsman’s graphic novel The End of the Fucking World for Netflix — oversaw the adaptation alongside Christy Hall (Daddio). The dark comedy was a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl navigating the trials and tribulations of high school, all the while dealing with the complexities of her family, her budding sexuality, and…mysterious superpowers just beginning to awaken from deep within her.
The cancellations are the latest in a long series of moves made by companies both big and small amid the global coronavirus pandemic. Scheduling and production space are both expected to be among the major issues that arise in the coming months as production begins to slowly return across the globe. Showrunners, actors and crew often juggle multiple projects in the Peak TV space, often booking additional work during hiatus. But with everything shut down all at once, the jigsaw puzzle-like schedule for both talent and production space — which was already at a premium in a landscape of 500 scripted series — are both going to me major challenges in the months to come.
The Society and I Am Not Okay With This join the Milo Ventimiglia-led Evel as being scrapped because of issues related to the pandemic. Evel was set up at USA Network, with Ventimiglia planning to film the series during his hiatus from NBC hit This Is Us. With that no longer an option, and USA in the midst of a programming strategy shift, the cabler dropped the series in July.