The Wilds has been cancelled by Amazon Studios after two seasons.
According to multiple outlets, including Deadline (opens in new tab) and Variety (opens in new tab), Amazon has abandoned the popular Prime Video show less than three months after its second season was released. Deadline suggests that the series’ main cast members were only informed about the decision on Thursday, July 28. At the time of writing, though, members of the core cast are yet to publicly comment on the matter.
News about The Wilds’ cancellation is sure to disappoint fans of the young adult (YA) survival drama series. The Prime Video production is one of the more highly-rated original series on Amazon’s streaming platform, with its first season holding a 92% certified fresh rating (opens in new tab) on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Meanwhile, The Wilds season 2 fared just as well; the show’s latest installment garnering an 85% score on the same website (opens in new tab). Over on IMDb.com (opens in new tab), The Wilds has amassed an average 7.2 out of 10 score from nearly 20,000 user reviews.
No official reason has been given for the show’s cancelation, but Deadline claims that the subdued reaction to The Wilds’ second season led to its downfall. The series arrived to critical acclaim upon the release of its first season in December 2020, with its Lost meets Castaway-style narrative and excellent casting helping to drive newcomers to Amazon’s streaming service.
However, with similarly positioned YA series, such as hit show Yellowjackets, starting to muscle in on its territory, coupled with its pandemic-induced release date delay, it seems that The Wilds didn’t have the tools to craft a life raft to keep it afloat.
We’ve reached out to Amazon Studios for an official comment on The Wilds’ cancellation and we’ll update this article if we hear back.
Analysis: cast adrift on the streaming high seas
The Wilds’ cancelation is something of a pivotal moment in Amazon Studios’ history.
The series was the first young adult-positioned project to release on Prime Video and, thanks to its relative success, it paved the way for other YA shows to roll off the Amazon production line. Panic, Amazon’s failed I Know What You Did Last Summer remake, Alex Rider, and The Summer I Turned Pretty owe their existence to The Wilds, which paved the way for those series to see the light of day.
With Amazon bringing the curtain down on The Wilds, then, it’s consigning one of its pioneering shows to the streaming history books – and some industry insiders and fans may see that as a watershed moment for Prime Video.
How so? Well, Amazon isn’t exactly pivoting away from YA-developed series, but it’s certainly leaning harder into more popular and profitable genres.
For one, Amazon continues to expand its original superhero offerings to its subscriber base. The Boys season 4, plus a live-action spin-off series, are in the works. Invincible season 2 is currently in development, while a new original movie in Samaritan is set to release in late August.
Meanwhile, Amazon is pushing harder into fantasy genre territory. A second season of The Wheel of Time is on the way, while a third season was announced at Comic-Con 2022. Carnival Row, Prime Video’s first fantasy original series, is also getting a second runout at some point. Oh, and there’s a little known show called The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power – the most expensive TV series ever made – coming exclusively to Prime Video on September 2.
Of course, there’ll always be an audience for YA content on Prime Video, so it’s likely that Amazon will continue to commission projects of this nature, providing they sound intriguing enough. But there’s no question that the studio is pumping money into more popular genres with bigger fanbases, which could be a dangerous move to make.
Amazon won’t want to alienate its young adult/teen audience by failing to deliver content targeted specifically at this demographic. If it does so, it may find those viewers abandoning it – in much the same way that Amazon abandoned The Wilds – for other streamers, such as Netflix, whose YA back catalog includes hit shows such as Shadow and Bone, Riverdale, and Heartstopper. Time will tell if The Wilds’ cancellation was the right decision or not.
For more Prime Video-based content, check out the platform’s new user-friendly interface, or read up on a new feature that Prime Video just added – one that Netflix is yet to implement.