Why Amazon’s Paper Girls was canceled and what comes next

Paper Girls -- Courtesy of Prime Video
Paper Girls -- Courtesy of Prime Video /

While it wasn’t exactly Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Amazon’s most heavily marketed show to date) Paper Girls was clearly a show that Amazon was hoping would be a breakout hit for them. It received a decent push from the streaming service.

However, a little over a month after its debut, it was announced that Paper Girls wouldn’t be getting renewed for a second season. It seems that despite the show receiving good reviews and being well-liked by fans that did watch it, it wasn’t pulling the numbers that Amazon needed to be able to justify a second season.

While Paper Girls did well in some territories, lasting Prime’s Top Ten most watched list for over thirty days in Spain, Italy and France, it didn’t do as well in the UK. According to the Nielsen ratings Digital Spy shared, the show “only lasting in the top 10 for one day in the UK, and not breaking into the US charts at all.”

Some might feel that the show was not given enough time to find an audience before Amazon chose to drop it. But in this day and age of streaming, there are more shows than ever to choose from.

Why was Paper Girls canceled?

More often than not, a series needs to be a hit out of the gate in order to secure a future. Otherwise, the service will move on to the next possible hit they have in the works.

As much as ratings and word of mouth can be a factor, at the end of the day, it’s the viewership numbers that really make the difference. Why did Paper Girls fail to connect with the audiences then?

For that we can only speculate. One of the most common reasons cited is that it came out too closely to the release of the fourth season of Stranger Things on Netflix.

Paper Girls
Paper Girls — Courtesy of Prime Video /

Stranger Things has become a juggernaut of pop culture.  It’s possible that it simply took up too much of our cultural real estate this past summer for there to be enough room left over for Paper Girls to make a dent.

Also, even though Paper Girls was based on a comic that came out years before the first season of Stranger Things, it’s hard not to draw comparisons between the visual language of the two shows. Some could have seen Paper Girls as a cheap attempt to cash in on the Stranger Things success.

Can the show be saved?

While Paper Girls only received one season on Amazon, the creators had made it clear that they were planning for future seasons. They stated multiple times that the arc was meant to continue well past the eighth episode.

So, is there any chance that now that Amazon has canceled the show, it might show up on a different streaming service or television channel? It’s possible.

It’s happened before. Shows like Scrubs and Supergirl that were canceled by their original networks have found success on different stations (Scrubs moved from NBC to ABC for its final two seasons and Supergirl moved from CBS to the CW after its first season.) Netflix has taken multiple canceled shows and turned them into Netflix Originals after their original cancellation such as Lucifer and Manifest.

Recently Netflix even saved the show Girls5eva after it was canceled by Peacock. It’s not out of the question that a different service might have an interest in continuing the story of Paper Girls.

However, just because it’s possible that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily likely. The creators of the series have stated that they are shopping the show to other companies, but that is something that always happens when a show is canceled.

More often than not, the series isn’t picked up. The stories where a show gets a second life on a different channel are the exceptions not the rules.

Still, if Paper Girls does beat the odds and gets a new life somewhere else, it will be exciting to see where the story goes in the second season, given all of the fun we’ve been having with the first.

Next. Paper Girls season 1, episode 5 recap: A New Period. dark

How do you feel about the Paper Girls cancelation? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!