Amazon cancels two highly rated Prime Video shows despite green-lighting second seasons

Greta and Carson hold Jess back in a stand-off in A League of Their Own on Prime Video
A League of Their Own has been unrenewed by Amazon Studios (Image credit: Anne Marie Fox/Prime Video)

Amazon has cancelled The Peripheral and A League of Their Own – despite having renewed the popular TV shows earlier this year.

The two highly-rated Prime Video series were expected to return for second seasons following their renewals in Q1 2023. However, on August 18 Variety reported that The Peripheral was being canned after a single season. That announcement came six months after Amazon greenlit another season of the mind-bending sci-fi TV show.

An hour after news about The Peripheral's cancellation broke, Variety also revealed that A League of Their Own was being shelved after one season. The sports-based comedy-drama was only renewed for a second (and final) season in April. 

Amazon hasn't commented on the cancellations, but Variety's sources claim that the decisions have been prompted by the ongoing actors and writers strikes. According to individuals close to each production, the industrial action, which has brought Hollywood to a standstill, means the pair's next seasons wouldn't be released until 2025 at the earliest. That, in Amazon's eyes, isn't good enough, hence the company's decision to walk back on their renewals.

In the wake of A League of Their Own's cancellation, showrunner-lead actor Abbi Jacobson slammed Amazon for consigning the series to the scrap heap, adding that its decision was "cowardly", among more hard-hitting language. The Peripheral's cast and crew are yet to comment on their series being cancelled.

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Based on William Gibson's beloved novel of the same name, The Peripheral starred Chloë Grace Moretz as Flynne Fisher, a virtual reality (VR) gamer who stumbles upon a neo-futuristic alternate reality (in a VR headset, no less) that warns of a dark future for humanity.

Meanwhile, Jacobson's A League of Their Own adapted the classic 1992 movie of the same name. Introducing new characters and storylines, it focused on the formation of the first professional all-female baseball team against the backdrop of World War II.

TechRadar has reached out to Amazon Studios for an official comment on the cancellations, and we'll update this article if we hear back.

Hitting home runs – but consigned to the periphery anyway

Flynne wears a prototype VR headset in The Peripheral on Prime Video

The Peripheral was hailed by fans and critics upon release (Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian/Prime Video)

The Peripheral and A League of Their Own's cancellations are the latest in a long line of top-tier Prime Video shows that have bitten the dust.

Paper Girls, The Wilds, Three Pines, Night Sky, and As We See It are just five fantastic TV series that have met their demise at Amazon's hands in the last year. Now, fans of The Peripheral and A League of Their Own are lamenting the end of two other great shows on one of the world's best streaming services.

The latter pair's cancellations hurt more than usual, too, given the acclaim they were met with by fans and critics alike. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, The Peripheral's 79% critics and 86% audience scores prove it was well liked. In our review of The Peripheral, we said it "will delight sci-fi lovers", though its complex narrative meant Gibson's famed novel didn't always translate well onto the small screen.

A League of Their Own enjoyed an even better response. On Rotten Tomatoes, its 95% critics and 87% audience ratings mean Jacobson and company can certainly feel hard done-by over its cancellation. It won a GLAAD media award for Outstanding New TV series earlier this year, too, which further suggests that it should have been given more time to shine.

Still, despite Amazon's shuttering of the pair, they're still two of the best Prime Video shows in our view. It's unclear if another streaming giant will save one or both shows from a place in the television afterlife; but if this is the end of the road, they shone brightly in their time on our screens.

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Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

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