In a rare move for the streamer, Netflix has canceled the Uma Thurman supernatural drama Chambers after just one season. Created by Leah Rachel, Chambers follows the story of Sasha Yazzie (Sivan Alyra Rose), a teenager who begins experiencing strange visions after undergoing a heart transplant. Sasha’s increasingly troubling experiences prompt her to seek the truth about the dead girl whose donor heart she received, but the closer she gets to the truth, the more horrifying her ordeal becomes.
Co-starring Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwin as grieving parents Nancy and Ben Lefevre, Chambers was greeted mostly negatively by critics after its April debut and currently holds a 41% score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Given the twisty nature of the show’s supernatural mystery, viewers were left with a lot of questions after the season 1 finale, questions the show’s fans hoped would be solved in season 2. As Netflix renews 80% of its series after season 1, there was optimism that a second season of Chambers would indeed happen despite the show’s relatively weak critical reception and lack of social media buzz.
However, this is one case where Netflix decided to go against its established habits and not pick up a show for a second season. As reported by Deadline, Chambers will go down as a rare one-and-done for the streamer. In a statement, Netflix said:
We’re grateful to creator and showrunner Leah Rachel for bringing this story to us and to her fellow executive producers Alfonso Gomez Rejon, Steve Gaghan from Super Emotional, Winnie Kemp and Wolfgang Hammer from Super Deluxe, and Jennifer Yale. We’re also thankful to the tireless crew, and to our incredible cast, especially Uma Thurman, Tony Goldwyn and talented newcomer Sivan Alyra Rose.
Close observers of Netflix and its content habits have noted that most shows released on the service run for 2 or 3 seasons before being canceled, with few shows lasting beyond 3 seasons (highly acclaimed series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black being among the notable exceptions). No one is quite sure how Netflix arrives at its formula for determining when to give a show the axe, but it seems they've become convinced that constantly introducing new content is better for them than sticking with shows for long runs. This philosophy has led to a lot of well-received shows, like the network’s entire roster of Marvel series as well as non-Marvel shows like Santa Clarita Diet and One Day at a Time, getting frustratingly premature cancellations.
Evidently, Netflix went to their formula and determined that it didn’t make economic sense to bring back Chambers for even one more season. The show did not exactly catch on in the same way other Netflix series have, and that lack of buzz likely also played a role in the series being brought to a premature end. Those fans the show did find will now never get to find out what would have happened next to Sasha Yazzie and her strange supernatural visitor.