Amazon Studios has finally announced a release date for Hunters season 2 – and that it’s canceling the drama series after its next outing.
Revealed in a first look Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab) (EW) article, the conspiracy drama’s next season will launch on Prime Video on January 13, 2023. However, Hunters’ second season will also be its last, with Amazon choosing not to renew it for a third outing.
That’s something of a surprise move on Amazon’s part. Hunters season 2 has been in development for a while now, so it’s possible that interest will have waned among Prime Video subscribers ahead of its arrival. Even so, it’s a rare occurrence for one of the world’s best streaming services – Prime Video or otherwise – to simultaneously confirm a show’s release date and that said TV series won’t be returning for more installments.
Hunters, which follows a band of Nazi hunters living in 1970s New York, originally aired in February 2020. It was notable for many reasons, not least because it marked the first time that legendary actor Al Pacino had starred in a TV series. While that was Hunters’ main selling point, Pacino’s TV debut was eventually overshadowed by how polarizing the show was, with fans and critics alike calling out its historical inaccuracies, over-the-top violence, and irksome conclusion. You can read more about that shock-filled ending in our Hunters season 1 ending explained article.
In our Hunters season 1 review, we said it was “like a superhero team show crossed with the recent Wolfenstein videogames, which themselves blurred the lines between ridiculous comedy and gratuitous violence around this subject”. Clearly, not everyone held the same opinion, Amazon Studios included, which has taken Hunters’ pursuit of a third season out of its own hands.
Analysis: Prime Video is developing a risky cancellation habit
Amid the turbulence Netflix has endured over its increasing penchant for canceling hit TV shows (or, in most cases, those that appeared to cost a lot of money), Amazon Studios has slyly been getting away with doing likewise.
Unlike its competitor, however, which regularly cancels shows after a single season, Amazon is developing a risky habit when it comes to the timing of its TV show cancellations. That being, pulling the plug on original shows after two seasons.
Hunters is the latest in a long line of Prime Video shows that have ended after two seasons. The Wilds is the most recent example, with the drama series left high and dry after its own shocking Prime Video cancellation. There are plenty of other examples, including (but not limited to): The Tick, Hand of God, Hanna, Modern Love, Patriot, Homecoming, and Alpha House.
Okay, some didn’t have the fanbase – or, rather, the viewing figures – to justify greenlighting further entries. In the cases of The Wilds and The Tick, though, they were arguably some of the best Prime Video shows around. The duo had built up a core, supportive fanbase who deserved better than to see their favorite series ended prematurely, even if Amazon Studios would argue their financial outlays weren’t reflected in the viewership that these shows pulled in.
Amazon isn’t stopping there when it comes to canceling shows after two seasons, either. As well as Hunters, the second and final season of Carnival Row – the Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne-starring fantasy show – launches in early 2023. Adult animation offerings, including Undone and Fairfax, are in renewal purgatory, with the pair waiting to hear if they’ll receive third seasons or be cancelled, too.
All of this, then, is setting a dangerous precedent for Amazon Studios. The company’s streaming platform’s biggest hitters, such as The Boys, will continually be renewed until their overarching stories have run their course, so their fanbases have nothing to worry about. But for fans of smaller or more niche TV shows, the prospect of your favorite series being canned after two seasons by Amazon is becoming an increasingly alarming sight.
If Prime Video subscribers start questioning whether it’s worth investing their time in Amazon’s TV offerings – when there’s the potential for those shows to meet a premature end – they might turn the tables on Amazon and trigger their own cancellations by ending their Prime Video subscriptions.
For a streaming service that has ambitions on beating Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney Plus in the race to become the world’s biggest streamer, a decrease in subscriber numbers could spell disaster to Prime Video’s hopes. Netflix has already shown that people will walk away if they’re not happy with a service’s output – Prime Video, and Amazon more specifically, should heed that warning.