Altered Carbon Canceled at Netflix After Two Seasons

Altered Carbon Canceled at Netflix After Two Seasons

Netflix has canceled Altered Carbon after only two seasons (and an anime). Variety reports that the series was canceled as a result of Netflix’s standard approach of comparing the cost of a series to the number of viewers it generates. Given that the show potentially cost a few million dollars per episode, the sci-fi series would have had to pull in some impressive numbers to win out in that calculation.

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The series was based on the novel Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan and landed on Netflix with a giant splash, giving the streamer another pop culture hit with the first season in 2018. However, the anime film, released in 2019, met with tepid reviews, and the second season, which landed this February, failed to garner as much hype and attention as the first. Compounded with rising production costs due to COVID-19, the series probably became too expensive for Netflix to excuse the third season.

The concept behind Altered Carbon could have easily run for longer. It takes place in a world where the human brain has been digitized and people can download themselves into new bodies. This meant that the show’s protagonist, Takeshi Kovacs, could be recast every season and could technically go on forever with another big-name star taking over the role each season. Indeed, the first two seasons featured Joel Kinnaman and Anthony Mackie in the role, respectively. Plot lines did carry over from the first season to the next, but much like Doctor Who‘s regenerations, the show could have carried on forever with no need to halt because an actor was growing out of the role.


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Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is a News Writer and film aficionado at Escapist. He has been writing for Escapist for nearly five years and has nearly 20 years of experience reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and video games for both print and online outlets. He has a degree in Film from Vassar College and a degree in gaming from growing up in the '80s and '90s. He runs the website Flixist.com and has written for The Washington Post, Destructoid, MTV, and more. He will gladly talk your ear off about horror, Marvel, Stallone, James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.