Archive 81, one of the most popular new Netflix shows of 2022, performed well. However Netflix decided not to pursue a second season and the show was canceled. Here’s what we know about the cancelation and why it didn’t do the job to get a season 2.
This horror series was one of the first Netflix Original Series to be released in 2022. It premiered worldwide on January 14, 2022.
It is an important success on Netflix. We'll get into the viewership success later. The show has received generally positive reviews from critics as well as audiences. As of the time of publishing the show has an 87% approval rating on RottenTomatoes and a 7.4 from audiences on IMDb (that’s increased over time).
Official Renewal Status: Canceled on March 24th, 2022 Our Renewal Prediction: 50/50
A brand new show like Archive 81 is highly unlikely to get a multi-season order upfront and indeed that isn’t the case. The show can only be renewed when it meets certain criteria. This includes stickiness, viewership (how many viewers start the show and continue), as well other factors.
Deadline announced on March 24th, that the show was cancelled. There were no additional details.
We were not convinced to renew or cancel the show based on our viewership. Although the show seemed to be in its stride by week 2, the almost half-million viewers who watched from weeks 2-3 may have been a problem. Cowboy Bebop also experienced a drop in viewership.
According to our sources, no decision was made regarding the future of the show as of February 18, 2022.
It's clear that the creators have set up plans for another season. We’ll come onto the story side below but in an interview with Variety, they outlined that they’ve planned for more.
“I think there’s a lot of story that we didn’t get a chance to tell in that eight-episode first season,” said creator Rebecca Sonnenshine adding “But we do know what Davenport is up to and so that is very much a part of Season 2. That’s great that, hopefully, we leave people with questions. As an audience member, I try to not answer any questions that aren't already asked. You don’t want to frontload information. We have a lot of cool stuff planned for Davenport.”
A big Netflix audience is one of the most effective ways for Netflix shows to be renewed. For a freshman show that’s always a difficult cast so let’s see how well Archive 81 performed on Netflix.
We can see how Archive 81 performed on Netflix thanks to multiple sources of data.
The Netflix Top 10 website has just been released and it shows that the show was viewed for an astounding 129.47 millions hours in the first three weeks.
|Week Period||Hours Viewed(M)||Rank||Week in Top 10|
|January 9th, 2022 to January 16th, 2022||22,220,000||7||1|
|January 16th, 2022 to January 23rd, 2022||70,980,000 (+219%)||2||2|
|January 23rd, 2022 to January 30th, 2022||36,270,000 (-49%)||3||3|
Between January 31st and February 6th, the show was likely to drop by 50%. The lowest hour count that week was 16.69 millions.
Nielsen provides us an insight into how the series performed in America. Nielsen’s top 10s also backs up the above in that the show had a big jump in viewing from week 1 to week 2 likely because of the numerous articles and social media that were produced on the series.
You can see the viewing times drop by half between weeks 2 and 3. This is likely to be a devastating blow.
Google Trends is perhaps the most stark picture of Archive 81, showing a drastic drop-off in usage after Weeks 2 and 3. It's so low that it barely registers.
According to IMDb MovieMeter, the series was the third most watched on the platform from January 16th through January 23rd. It was at number 69 the week after it was launched. This shows, like the above, how the series gained momentum in the following week. Archive 81 was at number 21 between January 30th and Feb 6th. For the week ended February 13, Archive 81 dropped to #56.
Netflix trailers often show how well a show performs on Netflix. The trailer reached just above 2,000,000 views, which is comparable to Raising Dion S2 or Vikings: Valhalla. However, it was short on titles such as Stranger Things or The Cuphead Show!
Let’s quickly recap the events of the final episode. Warning!
Melody meets Steve at the psychiatric center. Melody struggles to accept that Melody cannot leave, but she eventually escapes and saves Jess. Dan ends up saving Melody but has become trapped himself in the 1990s (specifically 1994 – a great year by the way).
That’s where the story concludes so naturally, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered and we need to know what happens. Story-wise, our best guess is that Melody has now taken over Dan's role and Melody is doing everything she can.
In terms of cast members, beyond a few teases, it’s likely much of the main cast will return in some form or another.
Sonnenshine said that Samuel (played by Evan Jonigkeit) would likely return teasing that it’s a “very exciting branch of our story”.
What would you like to see in Archive 81's second season on Netflix? Comment below.
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