Right now might not be the best time to cancel a sketch-comedy series led by black comedians, but that’s clearly not enough to stop Netflix, who recently confirmed that they would not be renewing Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show for a second season.
The 6-episode series which premiered last December is only the latest show from a noticeably African American creative team canceled by the streaming giant. Previous examples include Turn Up Charlie created by and starring Idris Elba and Tuca & Bertie starring Tiffany Haddish, who also served as executive producer.
Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show came from Kenya Barris of Black-ish fame as part of a $100 million development deal alongside writer and director Daniel Powell, who’s most known for producing comedic series like Ugly Americans and Inside Amy Schumer. The show stars the titular comedy troupe, the first all-black team from the famous Upright Citizens Brigade, and follows a mock-reality TV format depicted through its numerous sketches complete with Big Brother-esque confessionals wherein a club member will speak directly to the camera. The series also featured an impressive roster of guest appearances, including Busy Philipps, Gillian Jacobs and Ice Cube among others.
The short series released to critical acclaim, as evidenced by its 100% critical score and 84% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and while that may not have saved it from cancellation, producer Phil Lord did reach out to the comedy team on Twitter saying the following:
maybe someone else should! https://t.co/WhwlUCJEp3
— Phil Lord is wearing a mask on his determined face (@philiplord) June 3, 2020
While this may be nothing more than simple encouragement, one can’t help but wonder if it may also be a thinly veiled offer. After all, Lord has an impressive track record with Hollywood comedies, and if Netflix doesn’t want it, then an Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show revival helmed by the man behind 21 Jump Street, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Unikitty may be just what the world needs.