The Cowboy Bebop live-action series from Netflix has been cancelled after one season. Less than a month after the anime series adaptation premiered on the platform, the streaming service has decided it won’t be continuing with the project.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news, but didn’t provide much other context than ratings and public reception. As the outlet points out, Netflix’s publicly available stats show that the TV series started on a high, with 57 million hours watched over the first two weeks, before moving down to 15 million hours watched for the proceeding week. This suggests many gave it a go, but the retention rate was low.
As much is echoed in the Rotten Tomatoes scores – the critical rating sits at 49%, and the audience rating is just a little bit higher at 55%. THR states that the decision was fueled by cost versus viewership, like any other on the platform. Showrunner Christopher Yost had already started putting together ideas for season 2, and now we’ll just have to wonder what that would’ve looked like.
John Cho, who plays Spike Spiegel in the show, gave a small reaction on Twitter – a gif of Richard from Friends saying that he’s OK.
— John Cho (@JohnTheCho) December 10, 2021
Based on the anime of the same name by studio Sunrise, Cowboy Bebop follows Spike, Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda), three bounty hunters in the 2070s who live together on the eponymous ship. the series follows their highs and lows, mixing madcap action with more sullen character drama. It’s a beloved ’90s show, and the Netflix TV series version clearly went to pains to recreate that charm, but just missed the mark.
You can find Cowboy Bebop, both the animated series and live-action, on Netflix now.