UPDATE: As of 8/8/15 Netflix has announced that it is renewing sense8 for a second season.
I understand. I have these feelings too. I have grown to really love these characters, and need to see them again, learn of their stories, find out their fate. If for some reason Sense8 is not renewed, it will be a body blow emotionally.
But I am not worried. Wheels are turning. Sense8 is not late, and we don't have to worry about why it hasn't been renewed yet.
Why am I not worried about season 2 of sense8?
- Netflix continues to feature Sense8 on the Netflix homepage
- Netflix continues to produce and release Sense8 promotional materials, and maintains a very active social media presence on the official sense8 Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr
- Netflix recently produced and released an official Sense8 music playlist on Spotify
- Netflix recently produced a technically innovative featurette about Sense8 (Brainwave Symphony)
- Netflix featured a Sense8 panel during their day at TCA, a major press event for the television industry
- JMS has reported planning under way for DVD and CD releases of season one of Sense8 and the music of Sense8
Meanwhile, all of my industry contacts are very professionally avoiding spilling the beans, but are managing to convey that a bad outcome is not in the offing. Some of the cast and crew have spilled a few beans on Twitter (I see all), and some have indicated that trending parties and petitions are not not needed or necessary.
Then there's the release of second quarter results for Netflix shareholders which shows considerably greater than expected growth specifically attributed to original content in the form of Orange Is the New Black and Sense8. Sense8 is creating value for Netflix shareholders. Netflix stock has rocketed out of the park, no make that the solar system. Surely no management team in their right mind is going to ax under these conditions.
Netflix is still relatively new to a production model that includes maintaining the rights to, and the risks of, owning their own original content. Wheels are turning. Netflix is a public company and their stock is being scrutinized VERY carefully. Now is not the time to take a chance with dropping or renewing whatever happens to be next. They are of course choosing what they think is best, in the best order. They will have a lot more room to do this from now on.
It is true that Netflix renewed Marco Polo after two weeks. With tepid reviews, and with a yet unproven commitment to their own programming, they went bold.
Fast forward to now. There is no doubt in anyone's mind what is happening to TV, or Netflix's central role in these rapidly accelerating changes, least of all Netflix. They've got the moves. Netflix is reinventing an industry, and Netflix is also reinventing itself. Every time they order, produce, promote and/or drop original programming, they are learning and adjusting. They are communicating a shake up for how it's done.
Sense8 is groundbreaking genre, but it is still genre (sci-fi or etc.). Fans will wait, where title skipping couch potatoes may not. The industry views genre differently, (though this is changing). No one in the industry is losing confidence in Sense8 or Netflix while waiting for a renewal announcement. The TCA reporters were a little confused by a sense8 panel with no announcement, but they have remained in wait-and-see mode as to what this might mean.
I picture the original content team splayed across a conference room, closing laptops, then stretching rubber bands and twirling pencils. "What if we send the sense8 panel to TCA and DON'T announce season two??" (Entire team laughs). "Then we'll announce it on 8/8, for the fans." DONE. (Everyone goes to lunch).
SPECULATION: I think Netflix may simply be taking this opportunity to choose a genre project with a strong following to renew after a substantial wait period. This will create more normalcy for other projects that might take some time to be renewed, giving them a lot more room for finessing drops of future original material without causing concern. Netflix has plans to release new original material every three weeks, and are pouring their financial gains into this ambitious and very expensive business model. Wise timing for all of these releases is of paramount concern.
I picture the numbers crunching team at Netflix standing bleary eyed at the water cooler, memorizing the stains in the carpet. Finally one looks over her shoulder, then speaks softly, almost whispers, "No more global, locations-only projects. No. No no no." The others simply nod. If only it were up to them.
WHY ISN'T SENSE8 RENEWED YET? If you have a certain idea of how a renewal for a Netflix original TV series should look, you are going to be uncomfortable. So cheer up! No need for guessing games. Netflix will kindly alert us when there is a pickup by announcing it in major industry publications such as Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Deadline.
Meanwhile, Netflix continues to grow viewership for Sense8 with various promotional activities.
Netflix has a plan.
Jana Bess founded the unofficial Twitter, Facebook and website for Sense8 in June 2014. She is lucky to have made several acquaintances from the cast, crew and producers of Sense8.
PHOTO from lower left: crew members, Director James McTeigue, Ari Brickman ("Lito's director"), Lana Wachowski, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Andy Wachowski. At the Museo de Geologia Santa Maria la Rivera in Mexico City.