Friday, August 18, 2023

Amazon Reverses Season 2 Renewals for 'A League of Their Own' and 'The Peripheral'

Amazon has today decided to rescind the second season renewals for two of its original scripted series - comedy A League of Their Own and drama The Peripheral. Both series aired their first seasons in 2022.

The Peripheral starred Chloë Grace Moretz, Gary Carr, Jack Reynor, JJ Feild, T'Nia Miller, Louis Herthum, Katie Leung, Melinda Page Hamilton, Chris Coy, Alex Hernandez, Julian Moore-Cook, Adelind Horan, Austin Rising, Eli Goree, Charlotte Riley and Alexandra Billings. 

Scott B. Smith developed the drama based on the novel by William Gibson. He executive produced with Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, Vincenzo Natali, Athena Wickham, Greg Plageman, James W. Skotchdopole and Steven Hoban. Amazon Studios, Warner Bros. Television, Kilter Films and Copperheart Entertainment produced.

The 8-episode first season aired from October 21, 2022 to December 2, 2022.

A League of Their Own starred Abbi Jacobson, Chanté Adams, D'Arcy Carden, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Roberta Colindrez, Kelly McCormack, Priscilla Delgada, Molly Ephraim, Melanie Field and Kate Berlant.

Jacobson co-created the series with Will Graham based on the 1992 film of the same name. They executive produced with Jamie Babbit, Hailey Wierengo and Desta Tedros Reff. Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television Studios, Tender Pictures and Field Trip produced.

All 8 episodes of the first season were released on August 12, 2022.

Industry trade publications are quick to note these reversal orders mirror a similar pattern that occurred in 2020 due to the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. That time saw multiple outlets reverse renewal orders as a result of production delays. The streamer is quick to assign blame for these cancellations on the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that have similarly shutdown the entertainment industry. Amazon is one of the companies represented by the AMPTP in those negotiations.

The renewals for both series came months after their initial debuts on the streaming platform - with The Peripheral being picked up for Season 2 in February 2023 and A League of Their Own receiving an order for a 4-episode second and final season in April 2023. Both series were in early pre-production when the WGA strike began in early May. It's rumored the scripts for A League of Their Own were largely complete and Sony is expected to shop the series to other outlets.

Amazon has reportedly also blamed the costs associated with maintaining sets for both productions when neither are likely to resume production before 2024. The streamer states that would delay returns for both series until 2025 - years after their first seasons were released. It's become more common in the industry over the last few years for shows to take extended breaks between seasons. Sometimes audiences respond by not returning. However, some shows maintain their audiences regardless of the delays between episodes. As such, the moves today largely read as Amazon executives blaming other factors for these cancellations when they were never truly committed to either projects in the ways that would help them grow.