Amazon has begun cutting shows from its Prime Video streaming lineup due to the current ongoing dual strikes. First among them was the update of “A League of Their Own,” based on the original 1992 film, and the sci-fi drama “The Peripheral,” starring Chloë Grace Moretz. Deadline initially reported the news of “The Peripheral’s” cancellation this week. The Hollywood Reporter revealed the news of “A League of Their Own” being cut.
Both shows had previously been ordered for renewal and expected to continue before the start of the currently ongoing labor disputes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
Amazon Cuts Two Previously Renewed Shows Due To Ongoing Strikes
Deadline notes that “The Peripheral” cancelation is due to the ongoing work stoppage from the WGA strike, which started over 100 days ago in early May, and the SAG-AFTRA strike, which began on July 14. The show was renewed for a second season earlier in February, but the strikes delayed production, causing larger gaps between seasons and resulting in the shows missing their target release dates.
The eight-episode first season of the show debuted in October on the streamer, running through early December. The show was a co-production from Kilter Films, Amazon Studios, and Warner Bros. Discovery. Kilter Films’ Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (“Westworld”) also executive produced the show.
Created by Scott B. Smith and based on the William Gibson book of the same name, the story followed a young woman Flynne Fisher (Moretz) who is trying to hold her broken family together in a forgotten corner of Tomorrow’s America. Flynne has no future until suddenly the future comes for her.
The show experiencing a long delay likely would’ve hurt the series with such a long gap between seasons in terms of maintaining viewers. Also, Amazon already has plans in place for a 2025 content rollout, and a longer delay would’ve reportedly affected their plans. The Deadline report also notes that the show is believed to have done well in its first season on the platform. However, the first season was also expensive, and the added delays would have added bigger expenses to the budget, including holding stages for production. Along with the marketing budget for the delayed season, it appears the cost was not enough for Amazon to continue forward with the show’s renewal.
Another show that fell victim to the strike was the television reboot of “A League of Their Own.” The LGBTQ-themed series was originally expected to receive a four-episode second and final season to wrap up the show. However, while Amazon has removed the show from its streaming lineup, THR notes that producer Sony Pictures Television plans to shop the series in the hopes of finding a new home for Season 2. Scripts for the final season were reportedly already completed before the start of the WGA strike.
The series was co-created and headed up by Will Graham and Abbi Jacobson, who also starred in the series. Previously, Graham and Jacobson had fought to get the series a second season after Amazon and Sony Pictures TV negotiated a lower licensing fee for the series and getting a four-episode “limited series” renewal. Writing on the project started out earlier in the spring, but pre-production was halted due to the start of the WGA strike.
THR also reports that reports for Amazon claim that the strikes would’ve delayed the arrival of the show to 2025, when Amazon is already targeting a significant number of original shows for its Prime Video platform. So, it appears to be similar reasoning claimed for “The Peripheral.”
More Shows Could Be Cut Due To Strikes
Shows such as “The Peripheral” and “A League of Their Owen” look like they may just be the tip of the iceberg, and it appears more shows, even ones that have already been renewed, could be at risk as the strikes continue. Deadline reports that despite shows already being handed down renewals, more shows could see those renewals rescinded and new shows with pickups not happening if the current work stoppages continue past Labor Day. Another issue at play is that, as noted by Deadline, studios, and corporations are facing more financial security, which is resulting in them shifting their streaming strategies, and it looks like even shows that had already been handed renewals are now seeing those decisions get reversed.
Additionally, Deadline reports that freshman series going into Season 2 are the most vulnerable ones right now. Shows not currently at risk would be, for example, Amazon’s “Reacher” TV series. “Reacher” finished filming its second season earlier in February, and it’s currently in post-production. Season 2 is expected to debut in December 2023.
Another streaming original series that had already been renewed and wrapped filming for its second season was the Amazon Freevee show, “Bosch: Legacy,” which wrapped principal production on its Season 2 last year. Deadline reported in February that Season 2 was expected to debut in the fall. So, “Bosch: Legacy” should also be safe at the moment.
Earlier this year, Amazon Studios was also said to be developing two new spinoffs for the “Bosch” franchise. So it remains to be seen if they will come to fruition, or if they will also be affected due to the labor disputes.
One big streaming Amazon hit that also got renewed earlier this year was “The Terminal List,” starring and executive produced by Chris Pratt. In February, Amazon and Pratt had announced a Season 2 renewal and a prequel series, which would star Taylor Kitsch reprising his role as CIA operative Ben Edwards. “The Terminal List” is a freshman series that was already renewed, but it remains to be seen if it will follow a similar fate as the aforementioned streaming shows.
The WGA and SAG-AFTRA are currently striking against the AMPTP over issues of better wages and residuals along with protections against the utilization of A.I. Both strikes are still currently ongoing. This is the first dual labor strike the industry has faced since 1960.
The first seasons of “The Peripheral” and “A League of Their Own” are still available to stream now on Amazon’s Prime Video service.