Archive 81 will not be renewed for a second season on Netflix. We delve into the numbers to discover why.
Archive 81 was one of the first big new shows on Netflix in 2022 and appeared to perform well around the world, but Netflix has decided not to pursue a second season, which means the show is canceled. Here’s what we know about the cancellation and why it didn’t earn a season 2 renewal.
The horror series premiered globally on January 14th, 2022, as one of the first major Netflix Original series releases of 2022.
The show is a critical success for Netflix (more on that later), with generally positive reviews from both critics and audiences. At the time of publication, the show had an 87 percent approval rating on RottenTomatoes and a 7.4 from audiences on IMDb (which has since increased).
Archive 81 Season 2: Netflix Renewal Status
Official Renewal Status: Canceled on March 24th, 2022
Our Renewal Prediction: 50/50
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Archive 81’ Canceled By Netflix After One Season https://t.co/mbzIhDxWYs
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) March 24, 2022
A brand new show like Archive 81 is extremely unlikely to receive a multi-season order upfront, and this is exactly what happened. Instead, the show will only be renewed if certain criteria are met. This includes factors such as viewership, stickiness (how many people start and then finish the show), and others.
On March 24th, Deadline confirmed that the show would not be returning. There were no additional details provided.
We were not swayed by viewership (more on that in a moment) to renew or cancel. The show appeared to hit its stride in week 2, but a nearly 50% drop off from week 2-3 could spell disaster for the show. Cowboy Bebop experienced a similar drop-off.
According to our sources, no decision on the show’s future has been made as of February 18th, 2022.
The show’s creators have clearly set the stage for a second season. We’ll get to the story later, but in an interview with Variety, they stated that they have plans 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,” creator Rebecca Sonnenshine said, adding, “but we do know what Davenport is up to, and that is very much a part of Season 2.” That’s fantastic; hopefully, we’ve left people with questions. I definitely try not to answer questions before the audience asks them. You don’t want to overload the reader with information. We have a lot of exciting plans for Davenport.”
How popular is Archive 81 on Netflix?
One of the best ways for a Netflix show to be renewed is to perform well in terms of viewership. It’s always difficult to cast a freshman show, so let’s see how Archive 81 fared on Netflix.
We can examine Archive 81’s performance on Netflix using data from multiple sources.
According to the newly released Netflix Top 10 site, the show was watched for 129.47 million hours in its first three weeks on the platform.
|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|
The show dropped out between January 31st and February 6th, likely dropping up to 50% from week 3 as the lowest number of hours viewed that week was 16.69 million.
Nielsen can give us an idea of how well the show performed specifically in the United States. Nielsen’s top tens support the above by showing that the show saw a significant increase in viewing from week one to week two, most likely due to the numerous articles and social media posts about the series.
The viewing time is once again cut in half between weeks 2 and 3. Probably a fatal blow.
Google Trends may paint the starkest picture for Archive 81, revealing a dramatic drop-off after weeks 2 and 3 to the point where it barely registers.
Netflix trailers are frequently predictive of how well a show will perform on Netflix. In that case, the trailer has received slightly more than 2 million views, which is comparable to Raising Dion S2 and Vikings: Valhalla but falls short of titles such as Stranger Things and The Cuphead Show!
What to Expect from Archive 81 Season 2
Let’s go over the events of the final episode quickly. Spoiler alert!
Melody meets Steve in the psychiatric facility, but Melody struggles to accept her inability to leave, but she eventually manages to escape and save Jess. Dan saves Melody but becomes trapped in the 1990s (specifically 1994 – a fantastic year by the way).
That’s where the story ends, so naturally, there are many unanswered questions and we want to know what happens. Our best guess is that the roles have been reversed, with Melody doing everything she can to save Dan.
Aside from a few teases, it’s likely that the majority of the main cast will return in some capacity.
Sonnanstine teased that Samuel (Evan Jonigkeit) would likely return, calling it a “very exciting branch of our story.”
Would you have liked to see Archive 81 return to Netflix for a second season? Please let us know in the comments section below.