HBO Max has called time on acclaimed sci-fi series Raised by Wolves after just two seasons.
The Ridley Scott-produced show, which follows two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious planet, was, for a time, the top performing original series on the streaming service.
HBO Max hasn’t yet shared the reasoning behind Raised by Wolves’ cancelation, though a spokesperson for the service told Variety (opens in new tab) that it was “beyond grateful to the [show’s] stellar cast and crew [...] for their beautiful artistry and unique ability to immerse fans into the world of Kepler-22b.”
Those involved in the series’ production have their own theories, mind you. Taking to Twitter (opens in new tab) last week, actor Abubakar Salim – who plays Father in the show – said the move to cancel Raised by Wolves was “not surprising” given “the news of the mergers and what is happening at Warner” right now.
Salim is referring to the recent shake-up at HBO Max’s parent company, WarnerMedia, which was combined with Discovery Inc. to form a new conglomerate, Warner Bros. Discovery, in 2022. The merger has, despite its infancy, already spelled the end for CNN’s short-lived streaming service, CNN+, as well as a host of in-development scripted series at TNT and TBS.
In the same Twitter thread, the actor called on fans of the show to help find a new home for Raised by Wolves, claiming its showrunners “have a fully fleshed out and planned storyline” for season 3.
Call to action #RenewRaisedByWolves It’s not surprising, especially after the news of the mergers and what is happening at Warner, that a lot of shows are not having their stories finished.June 3, 2022
“There’s still a chance the story can continue and be finished at a new home,” Salim continued, citing Raised by Wolves’ “goliath" production team, “incredible reception from critics and reviewers” and “community base that is so strong internationally.”
The actor also drew on the turn in fortunes of once-cancelled projects like The Expanse, Top Boy and Zack Snyder's Justice League as recent examples of fan-led project renewals.
Analysis: where might Raised by Wolves end up?
Salim’s #RenewRaisedByWolves campaign is essentially an attempt to put the sci-fi series front and center of the streaming shop window – but would any HBO Max rivals realistically pick up the show for a third season?
Judging by the critical and commercial popularity of Raised by Wolves, there’s no doubt that other streaming services will be mulling over its future, though we don’t expect any of the three major HBO competitors – Netflix, Amazon and Disney – to step in and save the day.
Netflix has shown a willingness to pick up cancelled series in the past – it did so with Lucifer and You, (opens in new tab) for instance – but the streamer’s ongoing subscriber crisis (and penchant for cancelling its own shows) suggests it isn’t in the market to repeat the trick in 2022.
Prime Video boasts a stellar crop of comparable sci-fi series, though most were commissioned by Amazon itself (suggesting a preference for home-grown franchises) and Raised by Wolves seems a little off-brand for the family-oriented Disney Plus.
The latter’s sub-service, Disney Plus Star, could, however, be a potential destination for the series, which would slot nicely alongside more mature sci-fi dramas like War of the Worlds.
We'll update you with any news we hear on the matter in the coming months.