Netflix have been on a rampage over the last few months when it comes to canceling original shows, and it appears that nothing is safe. If GLOW can be axed despite having a reputation as one of the streaming service’s finest ever in-house efforts, then every showrunner tied to the company will be nervously looking over their shoulder.
In an attempt to cut costs, the majority of cancellations have been series with just one season under their belts, but fans were furious when I Am Not Okay With This and The Society were both sent to the chopping block after having initially been renewed. The former was Netflix’s second teen-orientated drama based on a Charles Forsman comic book to be spearheaded by Jonathan Entwistle after The End of the F***ing World, and it proved to be a popular sleeper hit among subscribers when the first seven episodes debuted in February.
The increased production costs brought on by the stringent health and safety measures introduced in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic were thought to be the main driving force behind the cult favorite being canceled, and in a recent interview, Entwistle went into more detail about why Netflix decided that I Am Not Okay With This was no longer worth the investment.
“Many of the questions that we posed in the first season were mapped out for a second season. When Netflix commissioned Season 2 and they green-lit us into the writer’s room, they told us it was to be the final season. So we were writing to a finale that we’d already planned. When the pandemic hit, we moved out of the office and there was definitely a shift within Netflix. We finished the scripts and it was hard work in the Zoom-writer’s-room. No writer tells you those things are good. It’s not good. We were budgeting, we were ready to roll. The show was due to start shooting in May/June and obviously, it got delayed. We just realized that to COVID-proof the show was going to cost a lot more money.”
A lot of people picked up on some similarities between I Am Not Okay With This and Stranger Things, with Entwistle admitting that Netflix viewed the show in a completely different way than he did, which also played a part in the project being pulled from the platform.
“I think I’ve seen a few people talking and the figures are about right. It’s about anywhere between $5 to $10 million per season of television for the PPE, and for the testing, and for the systematic changes with which to make it safer. I think that one of the problems we faced with I Am Not Okay With This is that in many ways I considered it to be a smaller, niche show and they considered it to be a replacement for Stranger Things. I do think when they were looking at all the finances, the show was more expensive than they figured it was worth doing.”
As disappointing as it is to see I Am Not Okay With This canceled, Entwistle has already landed on his feet and will head up Hasbro’s Power Rangers cinematic universe that spans both movies and TV shows.