In the brave new world of subscription streaming, some shows make it and some shows do not.
Or to put it another way, some streaming services such as Disney+ are lucky or shrewd enough to come up with a hit like “The Mandalorian,” which starts its second season on Disney+ today, while others such as NBCUniversal’s Peacock have the misfortune of launching themselves with a dud like “Brave New World,” which was mercifully discontinued this week.
Generally speaking, shows canceled by streaming services because they fail to draw sufficient interest to justify their continuation seem relatively rare, although the number of them also seems to be growing.
On the other hand, no TV content provider -- whether a subscription streaming service or an ad-supported legacy TV network -- ever really goes out of its way to announce cancellations.
A journalist on the TV beat learns early on that he should never hold his breath waiting for a network to announce that a show is cancelled. Instead, journalists tend to find this out via other means.
Such was the case with the news this week that Peacock has decided to cut off “Brave New World” before a second season. This news was reported by Deadline.com, not announced by the company.
It is just as well. “Brave New World” was an atrocious show. It was reviewed negatively here last July in a column that complained of its tone and tastelessness.
“This is no literary adaptation. Instead, it is made-for-television erotica,” said our review of this adaptation of the famous Aldous Huxley novel and its depiction of a future world that is empty and emotionless.
“Worlds that are empty and emotionless are by definition dull indeed. And, as this new ‘Brave New World’ demonstrates, so are TV shows.”
In short, “Brave New World” was a downer, and evidently did nothing to drive subscriptions to Peacock. So out it went.
By contrast, “The Mandalorian” has been rightfully hailed as one of the most popular scripted series yet to come out of the subscription-streaming universe.
It was a big reason for the swift accumulation of subscriptions that Disney+ has experienced in the year since its launch last November.
Why? Well, among many other reasons, “The Mandalorian” is a fun show that does not take itself too seriously.
Our review of Season One of “The Mandalorian” last November noted that the show -- which evolved from the always-surefire “Star Wars” universe -- was “the most highly anticipated of all the original content Disney has produced exclusively for its new subscription streaming service [which launched that week].”
But, the review asked, “Will ‘The Mandalorian’ emerge as the potent driver of subscriptions that Disney+ hopes it will be?”
Apparently, it has -- and here it is, poised for a second season.
Season Two of “The Mandalorian” starts streaming Friday (October 30) on Disney+.