Amazon Studios has finally announced a release date for Hunters season 2 – and is canceling the drama series after another outing.
Revealed at first glance Entertainment Weekly (opens in a new tab) (EW), the next season of the conspiracy drama will begin airing on Prime Video on January 13, 2023. However, the second season of Hunters will also be its last, with Amazon opting not to renew it for a third outing.
This is something of a surprise move on Amazon’s part. Season 2 of Hunters has been in the works for a while, so it’s possible Prime Video subscriber interest will wane before it arrives. Still, it’s rare for one of the world’s best streaming services – Prime Video or otherwise – to simultaneously confirm a show’s release date and he said that the television series would not return in future installments.
Hunters, which is about a group of Nazi hunters living in 1970s New York, originally aired in February 2020. It was notable for many reasons, not least because it was the first time legendary actor Al Pacino starred in a TV series . While this was a major selling point for Hunters, Pacino’s television debut was ultimately overshadowed by how polarizing the show was, with fans and critics alike pointing out its historical inaccuracies, over-the-top violence, and infuriating conclusions. You can read more about this shocking ending in our Hunters Season 1 Ending Explainer article.
In our Hunters Season 1 review, we said it was “like a superhero team show crossed with the latest Wolfenstein video games, which themselves blur the lines between ridiculous comedy and gratuitous violence around the theme.” Apparently not everyone had the same opinion, including Amazon Studios, which took Hunters out of the chase for season three out of their own hands.
Analysis: Prime Video develops a risky cancellation habit
Amidst the turmoil Netflix has been experiencing over its growing propensity to cancel hit TV shows (or, in most cases, those that seemed to cost a lot of money), Amazon Studios has slyly avoided doing the same.
But unlike its competitor, which regularly cancels shows after one season, Amazon develops a risky habit when it comes to TV cancellation times. That is, pulling the plug on the original shows after two seasons.
Hunters is the latest in a long line of Prime Video shows that ended after two seasons. The Wilds is the latest example, with the drama series left high and dry after Prime Video’s own shock cancellation. There are many 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 fans – or rather, viewership numbers – to justify the green light for more entries. However, for The Wilds and The Tick, they were arguably some of Prime Video’s best shows. The duo built a core supportive group of fans who deserved more than a premature end to their favorite series, even if Amazon Studios would argue that their financial outlays were not reflected in the viewership these shows attracted.
Amazon doesn’t stop there when it comes to canceling shows after two seasons. In addition to the Hunters, the second and final season of Carnival Row – the fantasy series starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne – will begin in early 2023. Adult animation deals including Undone and Fairfax are in renewal purgatory, and the pair are waiting to hear if they get third seasons or get canceled too.
All of this therefore sets a dangerous precedent for Amazon Studios. The company’s biggest hits on the company’s streaming platform, such as The Boys, will be constantly renewed until their overarching stories run out, so their fans have nothing to worry about. But for fans of smaller or more niche TV shows, the prospect of your favorite show being maintained by Amazon after two seasons is becoming an increasingly unsettling sight.
If Prime Video subscribers start to wonder if it’s worth investing their time in Amazon’s TV lineup – when there’s a chance these shows will end up prematurely – they could turn the tables on Amazon and cause their own cancellation by ending their Prime Video subscriptions.
For a streaming service with ambitions to beat Netflix, HBO Max and Disney Plus in the race to be the world’s biggest streamer, a drop in subscribers could spell disaster for Prime Video’s hopes. Netflix has already shown that people will leave if they’re not happy with the service’s performance – Prime Video, and more specifically Amazon, should heed that warning.