Netflix’s sci-fi series Sense8 has earned a divided yet passionate reception and spawned quite the collection of think-pieces online. Nonetheless, despite receiving all this attention, the show has yet to have been renewed for a second season.
The company has two major entities working on the show in the form of The Wachowskis - who actively directed parts of every episode (with the directors being divided by locations instead of episodes, in order to ease production) - and Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski. That trio of storytellers carry a fair amount of weight, which makes the lack of a season two renewal all the more surprising.
Straczynski, during the 2015 Television Critics Association tour, told the press (hat tip TV Line) “We’re cautiously optimistic, but, ultimately, it’s Netflix’s call,” as far as Sense8 season two is concerned. He later added that there is already a plan in place for season two, so the lack of an immediate renewal hasn't necessarily impeded the show's progress:
“We are long-game people. We need to know where we’re going, where it all pays off and what it means. Season 1 was an origin story, Season 2 has its own particular arc and so on. To spoil that here would not be in the best interests of the surprise we have in mind.”
The lack of a quick renewal for Sense 8 is worth noting, seeing as it's a Netflix original program. It's become standard procedure for the streamer to renew shows early into their runs - sometimes going so far as to renew them before they even debut. However, that wasn’t the case for Sense8, and the only other instance (not counting Arrested Development) where that happened was on the Netflix horror series Hemlock Grove.
Hemlock Grove wasn’t renewed by Netflix for its second season until 10 weeks after its first season debuted; then, the network waited a similar amount of time to renew the show for its third (and final) season. Sense8, like Hemlock Grove, is not a critical favorite, nor has it been a breakout hit from a public perspective (as the divided critical reception has mostly existed in a vacuum with the show’s limited fan base). The program is also expensive thanks to its global production, which gives Netflix all the more reason to contemplate the question: Is it worth renewing for another season?
The streamer has continued to push Sense8 online and at events like the International Comic-Con and the TCA, indicating Netflix hasn't given up on the show yet. The continued lack of renewal is telling, though; if one was watching the show via traditional means, it would be 9 weeks into a 12 week run of the first season. So, if by the end of August 2015 there still is no news about a Sense8 season two, then it's likely Netflix decided to cut its losses.
Sense8 season one is available now on Netflix.
Source: TV Line