A new series backed by a streaming giant and led by two Academy Award winners is set up for ultimate success, right? Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Prime Video's newest sci-fi series, Night Sky — which premiered on May 20, 2022 — follows retirees and spouses Irene (Sissy Spacek) and Franklin York (J.K. Simmons) as they attempt to keep one of the universe's strangest mysteries a secret.
See, the lovebirds have a bizarre chamber buried in their backyard, one that leads them to an unoccupied planet. But when Irene finds a mysterious stranger inside the secret chamber, questions arise and things get complicated. Who is this man, if he's even a man at all? "There's a reason we were the ones who found this," Sissy Spacek's Irene says. "This is our riddle to solve," Sissy Spacek'. The riddle only gets stranger as the story goes on.
It's all pretty intriguing, right? It's the kind of storyline that gets the audience to question everything and trust no one. Co-show creator Holden Miller told Town & Country that the series is about “sort of experiencing something incredibly momentous, but from a place that feels like it's your own bedroom.” But while Holden's vision is beautiful and meaningful and powerful, it wasn't enough to save Night Sky. Why was the series canceled?
Why was Amazon Prime's sci-fi drama 'Night Sky' prematurely canceled?
With a respectable Rotten Tomatoes score of 73 percent, Night Sky was overall received well. But, as we've said many o' times, viewership is often more important than good reviews when it comes to renewing a series for another installment. Sadly, the series' initial intrigue did not keep viewers hungry for more, and news of its cancellation came just six weeks after its release, per Deadline.
If Night Sky had a simpler narrative with an even simpler setting, perhaps Prime Video would have the bucks to give it another chance. But as a story with a unique sci-fi setting and some major star power behind it, it was always going to be expensive to produce. Without strong viewership, it's difficult to justify spending all that money on another season.
Night Sky is a big budget sci-fi series, one that requires a lot of special effects. To put it in perspective, the VFX team had to create an entire planet. "Launching to largely positive reviews, the series did not make a significant viewership impact while carrying sizable costs tied to its sci-fi content," Deadline's Nellie Andreeva wrote.
The almighty Stranger Things Season 4 had the budget to go big with the special effects, but a new series — one that wasn't marketed all that well, might we add — isn't in the same place financially to do so.
All eight episodes of Night Sky are currently streaming on Prime Video.