Sorry, fans of puppets and/or crystals. Netflix has canceled The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance after only one season. The Jim Henson Company-produced show served as a prequel to the 1982 Jim Henson cult film The Dark Crystal and earned critical acclaim. It also just won itself a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program at this year’s 72nd Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. But sadly, none of that was enough to save the show for another season.
While I haven’t watched Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (sorry!), I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. But if you watched the series and were hoping for more, it’s time for some bad news: Netflix has decided to not give the show a second season. In a statement, The Jim Henson Company CEO and executive producer Lisa Henson and Netflix told io9:
“We can confirm that there will not be an additional season of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. We know fans are eager to learn how this chapter of The Dark Crystal saga concludes and we’ll look for ways to tell that story in the future. Our company has a legacy of creating rich and complex worlds that require technical innovation, artistic excellence, and masterful storytelling. Our history also includes productions that are enduring, often finding and growing their audience over time and proving again and again that fantasy and science fiction genres reflect eternal messages and truths that are always relevant. We are so grateful to Netflix for trusting us to realize this ambitious series; we are deeply proud of our work on Age of Resistance, and the acclaim it has received from fans, critics and our peers, most recently receiving an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program.”
Netflix added individually:
“We are grateful to the master artists at the Jim Henson Company for bringing The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance to life for fans around the world. We’re thankful to the executive producers Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford, and Louis Leterrier, who also directed all episodes, as well as the writers, cast and crew for their outstanding work and thrilled they were recognized with the Emmy this weekend.”
It’s not entirely clear why Netflix is pulling the plug. Since the streaming service doesn’t release full viewership numbers, we don’t really know how many people watched the show. However, a previous report from THR has Netflix insiders quoted as calling the show a “pricey miss” and an “expensive disappointment,” so it sounds like viewership wasn’t as good as Netflix had been hoping.
A lot of work went into this show – it’s not just as simple as putting actors in front of a camera. It requires extensive puppetry work, as well as puppeteers to handle it all. In the end, it sounds like Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was just too labor-intensive and budget-heavy for Netflix.
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