Netflix has decided not to renew Cowboy Bebop for a second season. The cancellation of the live-action anime adaptation starring John Cho comes less than a month after the season 1 premiere.
Cowboy Bebop which is based on the popular 1998 Japanese anime TV series and the 2001 anime film, followed a group of misfit bounty hunters, led by Spike Spiegel (Cho) as they search for the galaxy’s most valuable criminals. Mustafa Shakir also starred as Spike’s trusted co-pilot Jet Black and Daniella Pineda as the highly-skilled bounty hunter Faye Valentine. The series debuted on 19 November.
The 10-episode live-action take on the anime classic was met with mixed reviews by critics and fans of the original, and the series failed to make a lasting impression in the streamer’s Top 10 rankings. The series gained only a 46 per cent positive critics rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Fans seemed to agree, giving the show a 56 per cent positive audience score on the site.
As with all Netflix renewal verdicts, the decision was made by balancing the show’s viewership and cost. Due to how expensive Cowboy Bebop is, it had to clear a much higher viewership bar in order to secure a renewal. That may explain why the cancellation was quicker than usual for Netflix, which traditionally waits for a full 28-day audience data before making pickup decisions.
Some of the cast reacted to the disappointing news on Twitter. John Cho simply posted a gif saying “I’m okay”.
Screenwriter Javier Grillo-Marxuach tweeted: “I truly loved working on this. it came from a real and pure place of respect and affection. I wish we could make what we planned for a second season, but you know what they say, men plan, god laughs. see you, space cowboy.”
i truly loved working on this. it came from a real and pure place of respect and affection. i wish we could make what we planned for a second season, but you know what they say, men plan, god laughs. see you space cowboy… #CowboyBebop #whateverhappenshttps://t.co/iAcphDkE0M— javier grillo-marxuach (@OKBJGM) December 9, 2021