‘Dead Boy Detectives’ Season 2: Will Netflix Renew or Cancel?

There are already plans for future instalments but its future looks in doubt based on viewership numbers.

Ashley Hurst What's on Netflix Avatar

Dead Boy Detectives (2023)

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. (L to R) Kassius Nelson as Crystal Palace, Yuyu Kitamura as Niko Sasaki and George Rexstrew as Edwin Payne in episode 4 of DEAD BOY DETECTIVES. Cr. Ed Araquel/Netflix © 2023

The wait is finally over—Dead Boy Detectives is here! The paranormal series, set within Netflix’s Sandman Universe, has gotten off to a great start with fantastic reviews from critics and casual viewers but how is viewership now two weeks in? Here’s a look at what we know about a renewal and what we could expect should it get renewed. 

Created by Neil Gaiman, the Dead Boy Detectives have their origin within the Sandman comics, making their first appearance in Sandman issue #25. Over the years, the duo have had adventures in comic books written by various authors. The TV show is not a one-to-one adaptation of any of the comics, unlike The Sandman series, which is incredibly faithful to its source material. Developed by Steve Yockey (The Flight Attendant) and Beth Schwartz (Arrow), the 8-episode series stars George Rexstrew, Jayden Revri,  Kassius Nelson, Briana Cuoco, Ruth Connell,  Yuyu Kitamura, and Jenn Lyon.

Dead Boy Detectives follows deceased duo Edwin Paine (George Rexstrew) and Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri), best friends born decades apart who find each other as ghosts. Rather than entering the afterlife, the two decide to escape the grasp of death and instead remain in the mortal world, solving myriad paranormal mysteries through their Dead Boy Detectives agency. Their cases involve everything from possessed people and evil witches to haunted houses. And in many of their cases, they’re joined by clairvoyant friend Crystal Palace (Kassius Nelson) and Niko (Yuyu Kitamura). The series is a dazzling, irreverent, comedic adventure.  Check out the trailer:

Dead Boy Detectives Season 2 Renewal Status

Official Renewal Status: Pending
Our Renewal Prediction: Likely Cancelation

Currently, Netflix has not renewed Dead Boy Detectives for season 2. Given how the show ends on a cliffhanger, seeing (spoiler) Niko seemingly alive and well after ‘dying’ while holding the trinket handed to her by Tragic Mick (Michael Beach), it’s all set up for a second season. Plus, Netflix has shown plenty of intent to extend the Sandman Universe after renewing the mother show for more episodes. Steve Yockey’s WGA profile at least suggests there’s been some early development work on a season 2 too.

One show we’re looking to for performance benchmarking is Lockwood & Co., which was famously canceled midway through 2023, ending after only a single season. We’ll need to see Dead Boy Detectives surpass the performance of that show, at the very least, at a shot of getting a renewal.

Let’s dive into the numbers, then!

Starting with Netflix’s Top 10s, we can see that the show is struggling to make a name for itself in its first two weeks. Here’s the performance thus far after three weeks (April 21st to May 12th):

Week Period Hours Viewed Views / CVE Rank Week in Top 10
April 21st, 2024 to April 28th, 2024 22,200,000 3,100,000 2 1
April 28th, 2024 to May 5th, 2024 34,100,000 (+54%) 4,700,000 3 2
May 5th, 2024 to May 12th, 2024 13,300,000 (-61%) 1,800,000 7 3

Of course, those numbers alone mean nothing, so if we compare week one against other Netflix Original shows (those in green got renewed, those in red were canceled, and those in yellow are pending), we can see DBD sits at the bottom end of the viewership table.

Dead Boy Detectives First Week Viewership Graph

Moving into week two, we can start to compare against other shows in the same genre, and we can see from this that the show is in perilous waters given that it’s tracking below a lot of canceled shows. Lockwood & Co. was doing better than Dead Boy Detectives at this stage after its release, and the show is also tracking below other high-profile cancelations like First Kill and Warrior Nun season 2.

In week 3, the show’s viewing hours dropped by 61%. If we plot the views of that in a graph, we can see the show is tracking right at the bottom of Netflix’s English language titles. All the titles in red are canceled, those in yellow are pending and those in green are renewed:

First 14 Days Netflix Performance Dead Boy Detectives

One hope the show has is that Ted Sarandos mentioned that Dead Boy Detectives would be among the lineup of Netflix’s Upfront presentation taking place on May 15th, 2024.

Despite this all being bad news, there is some good news. The Sandman season 2 is still happening and is set to premiere sometime in 2025. Hopefully, the Dead Boys appear in the new batch of episodes.

What to expect from Dead Boy Detectives season 2

We don’t know which stories Dead Boy Detectives season 2 would cover. With that said, co-showrunner Beth Schwartz has revealed that the team has plans to take the story further — not only for season 2, but for season 3 and beyond as well.

“If we get a season two, we have plans coming off the end of season one,” she told SFX Magazine. “We also have some ideas for season three. We’re ready. We’ve got the ideas. We’ve got the stuff. I don’t want to say too much, just because a lot of it comes off the finale.”

Turns out, Schwartz and Yockey are more than happy to keep the series running for as long as Netflix allows them to:

“Steve and I have talked about the very, very end of this series, but this is the kind of show that really could go on forever because the cases are so much fun and they get wilder and crazier as we go. Our characters, there’s no limit to where we can take them and where they can grow. So we’ll be on for as long as Netflix has us.”

Dead Boy Detectives (2023)

Picture: Netflix

Moreover, if one thing is for sure, the team is keen to keep crossovers with The Sandman coming. In season 1, we got brief cameos from two of the Endless: Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and Despair (Donna Preston). Looking ahead to a hypothetical season 2, showrunner Steve Yockey believes there’s ample opportunity for more cameos. “I think as long as there is an emotional and narrative reason to have them, yes,” Yockey told Screen Rant, adding that any crossover has to be meaningful to the story. “But I don’t think we’re just going to be pulling people willy-nilly just to get the kind of pop.”

Note: Contains contributions from Kasey Moore.

All eight Dead Boy Detectives season 1 episodes are now streaming on Netflix.

Do you want to see Dead Boy Detectives come back for a season 2? Let us know in the comments down below.

Written by

An expert in all things geek with a particular emphasis on DC, Marvel, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones. On Netflix, Ashley is an expert on The Sandman, Dead Boy Detectives and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Bylines at Winter is Coming and Comic Book Resources and notably runs a fan page social account for Netflix's The Sandman.

 Poster Rating: TV-MA
Language: English
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Cast: George Rexstrew, Jayden Revri, Kassius Nelson, Briana Cuoco, Jenn Lyon, Ruth Connell
Season Additions:
  • - Season 1 was added to Netflix on April 25th, 2024
Read Our Review for Dead Boy Detectives View Viewing Statistics