‘Archive 81’ Season 2: Netflix Cancels Horror Series After 1 Season

Archive 81 won't be returning to Netflix for a second season. We dig into the numbers and look into why.

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archive 81 will netflix renew or cancel

Archive 81 – Picture: Netflix

Archive 81 was one of the first big new shows on Netflix of 2022 and seemingly performed well on Netflix around the world but Netflix has opted to not pursue a second season meaning that the show is canceled. Here’s what we know about the cancelation and why it didn’t do the job to get a season 2.

The horror series is one of the first major Netflix Original series releases of 2022 with it having premiered globally on January 14th, 2022.

The show is a critical success for Netflix (more on the viewership success in a bit) with it carrying broadly positive reviews from both critics and audiences. As of the time of publishing the show has an 87% approval rating on RottenTomatoes and a 7.4 from audiences on IMDb (that’s increased over time).

Archive 81: Netflix Renewal Status for Season 2

Official Renewal Status: Canceled on March 24th, 2022
Our Renewal Prediction: 50/50

A brand new show like Archive 81 is highly unlikely to get a multi-season order upfront and indeed that isn’t the case. Instead, the show will only get renewed if it hits certain requirements. That includes viewership, stickiness (how many people start and then go on to finish the show), and other factors.

Deadline confirmed on March 24th that the show would not be coming back. No additional details were provided.

Based on viewership (more on this in a second) we were not swayed towards renewal or cancelation. The show did seem to find its stride in week 2 but almost 50% drop off from week 2-3 could spell bad news for the show. Cowboy Bebop had a similar drop-off.

Our sources tell us that as of February 18th, 2022 no decision has been made on the future of the show.

The creators of the show have definitely set things up for a second season. We’ll come onto the story side below but in an interview with Variety, they outlined that they’ve planned for more.

“I think there’s a lot of story that we didn’t get a chance to tell in that eight-episode first season,” said creator Rebecca Sonnenshine adding “But we do know what Davenport is up to and so that is very much a part of Season 2. That’s great that, hopefully, we leave people with questions. I definitely try not to answer questions before people ask them as an audience. You don’t want to frontload information. We have a lot of cool stuff planned for Davenport.”

archive 81 netflix january 2022

How well has Archive 81 performed on Netflix?

One of the best ways for a Netflix show to get renewed is by pulling in big numbers for Netflix. For a freshman show that’s always a difficult cast so let’s see how well Archive 81 performed on Netflix.

Thanks to data from numerous sources, we can look at exactly how well Archive 81 did on Netflix.

Thanks to the newly released Netflix Top 10 site, we can tell that in its first three weeks on the platform, the show was watched for 129.47 million hours.

Week Period Hours Viewed(M) Rank Week in Top 10
January 9th, 2022 to January 16th, 2022 22,220,000 7 1
January 16th, 2022 to January 23rd, 2022 70,980,000 (+219%) 2 2
January 23rd, 2022 to January 30th, 2022 36,270,000 (-49%) 3 3

The show dropped out between January 31st to February 6th likely dropping up to 50% from week 3 as the lowest hours viewed that week was 16.69 million hours watched.

Nielsen can provide us with an outlook as to how well the show specifically performed in the United States. Nielsen’s top 10s also backs up the above in that the show had a big jump in viewing from week 1 to week 2 likely because of the numerous articles and social media that were produced on the series.

  • Week Ending January 16th – #8 – 329 million minutes watched
  • Week Ending January 23rd – #2 – 1,035 million minutes watched
  • Week Ending January 30th – #8 – 462 million minutes watched

Between weeks 2 and 3 you can once again see a halving of the viewing time. Likely a killer blow.

Google Trends perhaps paints the starkest picture for Archive 81 showing a dramatic drop-off after weeks 2 and 3 to the point where it barely registers.

google trends archive 81

Archive 81 Worldwide Google Trends Interest

IMDb MovieMeter data shows that the show managed to become the third most popular on its platform between January 16th and January 23rd. The week it was released it was at 69 which demonstrates, just like above, that the series was able to grow in momentum after the second week. Between January 30th and February 6th, Archive 81 was sitting at #21. It dropped to #56 for the week ending February 13th.

imdb moviemeter chart archive 81

IMDb MovieMeter Chart for Archive 81

Netflix trailers are often indicative of how well a show goes onto perform on Netflix. In that case, the trailer has topped out at just over 2 million views comparable to Raising Dion S2 and Vikings: Valhalla but short of titles like Stranger Things and The Cuphead Show!.

What to Expect from Season 2 of Archive 81

Let’s quickly recap the events of the final episode. Spoiler alert.

Melody meets with Steve in the psychiatric facility but Melody has a hard time coming to terms with not being able to leave but eventually goes on to escape and end up saving Jess. Dan ends up saving Melody but has become trapped himself in the 1990s (specifically 1994 – a great year by the way).

archive 81 netflix january 2022 netflix originals

That’s where the story concludes so naturally, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered and we need to know what happens. Our best guess story-wise is that the roles are now reversed with Melody doing whatever she can to save Dan.

In terms of cast members, beyond a few teases, it’s likely much of the main cast will return in some form or another.

Sonnenshine said that Samuel (played by Evan Jonigkeit) would likely return teasing that it’s a “very exciting branch of our story”.

Would you have liked to have seen Archive 81 return for a second season at Netflix? Let us know in the comments down below.

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Founder of What's on Netflix, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for over a decade. Covering everything from new movies, series and games from around the world, Kasey is in charge of covering breaking news, covering all the new additions now available on Netflix and what's coming next.