As we saw with NBC’s Timeless, fan campaigns can work. This, sadly, is not one of those times.
Netflix issued a letter to Sense8 fans on Thursday night regarding the flurry of petitions. The streaming platform announced the cancellation of the Wachowski siblings’ sci-fi series at the beginning of June, which lit a fire in the fandom to keep hope alive.
“To our Sense8 family,” begins the letter, posted to the show’s Facebook page. “We’ve seen the petitions. We’ve read the messages. We know you want to #RenewSense8, and we wish we could #BringBackSense8 for you. The reason we’ve taken so long to get back to you is because we’ve thought long and hard here at Netflix to try to make it work but unfortunately we can’t. Thank you for watching and hope you’ll stay close with your cluster around the world. #SensatesForever.”
Actor Brian J. Smith penned a separate message to viewers in thanking them for fighting for their show. “I just wanted to take a moment to personally thank all of you for the love and support and fight you’ve put up the last week or so. In the wake of such bad news it was heartening to know that what Sense8 stood for meant so much to so many people,” he wrote. “And since you’ve been so extraordinarily passionate I feel it’s only fair that you get more than lip service or a silly tweet from me.”
Though Smith promised “viewership” was the reason behind the cancellation and not some “shady court intrigue” going on, he was moved by fans “roaring back” in an unexpected way.
“Please know that the fight you all put up in trying to save something that you loved will forever be the ‘final season’ of Sense8. YOU have given the show the ending it deserved. Even if that fight didn’t have a happy ending, it meant something. Don’t ever forget that,” he added.
Read his full letter through the link below.
Timeless offered a glimmer of hope for shows beyond the fateful cancellation proclamation. NBC initially axed the time-traveling series after one season, but a forceful push from the fans convinced them to green light a surprise renewal.
For better or worse, the news of Sense8 came at the start of LGBT Pride Month. In addition to being the brainchild of trans filmmakers Lana and Lilly Wachowski, the series offered diverse casting and stories from Smith and fellow actors like Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Aml Ameen, Max Riemelt, Miguel Angel Silvestre, and Tuppence Middleton.
“You can all rest easy knowing that even though the show won’t continue you’ve made a difference,” Smith concluded his letter. “You put up a good, hell no, a friggen GREAT fight. I will forever consider Sense8 to be a kind of Unfinished Symphony, a reminder to never take the things we love for granted. I’m going to miss the show and I’m going to miss Gorski, but I’m going forward and I’m never going to be the same.”