After a two-year hiatus, Shadow and Bone season 2 returned to Netflix in early 2023, but season 3 of Shadow and Bone is still up in the air and likely will continue to be until after the strikes come to an end. Will Shadow and Bone get a season 3 renewal or the rumored Six of Crows spinoff? Here’s what we know so far.
Based on the Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone is Netflix’s big-budget fantasy show helmed by Eric Heisserer and starring Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, and Ben Barnes. Season 1 landed on Netflix in April 2021, with season 2 released almost two years later in March 2023.
Has Shadow and Bone been renewed for a season 3?
Official Renewal Status: Not Yet Renewed
Our Renewal Prediction: Likely Cancelation (Last updated: April 4th, 2023)
As of August 2023, the show remains in limbo alongside the long-rumored Six of Crows spin-off that’s not yet been greenlit.
A renewal of Shadow and Bone will come down to the numbers, given it didn’t earn itself an early renewal upfront. As we’ve covered before, Netflix shows have to meet several internal metrics used at Netflix, with one of the most important metrics, we’re told, being the completion rate.
The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes also play a major role in the show’s future. Writers on the show would be prohibited from returning to work on the show until the strike has been resolved, which, as it stands, remains unclear. On top of the fact that the show would likely be two years away (which we’ve seen damages a show’s viewership repeatedly), it makes the future look bleak.
What have Netflix and people tied to the show said about a renewal?
Sophie Holland, the casting director on the series, told Deadline in late-May 2023 (notably over two months after the season 2 premiere):
“…as for Shadow And Bone, we’re really hoping for a third season. It seems to have a huge fan base. It’s a fresh, up-and-coming cast and the story is very faithful to the books, which is refreshing. It’s all about that first month’s performance on Netflix, I guess, so we’ll find out soon if it’s being recommissioned. It’s a tricky time, as you noted, so we’ll see.”
The latest we’ve had to any news regarding the future came in mid-June 2023 with an LA Times post talking about how fandoms are trying to game the system to get their shows renewed. Toward the end of the article, it states:
“Netflix said it hasn’t made a decision on “Shadow and Bone” Season 3 yet. As with many shows across the entertainment industry, programming conversations are on hold due to the writers’ strike, a company spokesperson said.”
It’s worth noting that the social media accounts for the show have gone silent for over three months at the time of updating. The last official Twitter post came on May 5th, 2023. Netflix’s TUDUM website notably hasn’t posted any Shadow and Bone content since March.
How well did Shadow and Bone Season 2 perform on Netflix?
So how well did Shadow and Bone season 2 perform on Netflix? We’ve tracked the show’s progress using several sources, including Netflix itself.
Netflix Top 10 Hourly Numbers
Let’s begin with Netflix itself, which releases hourly data for its top 40 shows and movies every Tuesday.
It featured in the Netflix top 10s for five weeks, picking up 160.79 million hours watched. Here’s how those hours break down from week to week:
|Week Period||Hours Viewed(M)||Rank||Week in Top 10|
|March 12th, 2023 to March 19th, 2023||50,400,000||2||1|
|March 19th, 2023 to March 26th, 2023||55,030,000 (+9%)||2||2|
|March 26th, 2023 to April 2nd, 2023||27,000,000 (-51%)||3||3|
|April 2nd, 2023 to April 9th, 2023||16,740,000 (-38%)||6||4|
|April 9th, 2023 to April 16th, 2023||11,620,000 (-31%)||9||5|
Sadly, we’re unable to compare viewing hours of season 2 with season 1 because these weren’t released and are a relatively new thing Netflix has introduced. Instead, we only learned that 55 million people watched season 1 in the first 28 days.
Its opening weekend could be illustrative of the problem, we’ve compared the show’s second season purely to other genre shows in their first week; we can see Shadow and Bone is set between two groups of shows thus far, meaning, in our opinion, it’s currently skirting the line.
|Title||Week 1 – Hours in Top 10s||Status|
|Vikings: Valhalla S2||55,350,000||Renewed|
|Shadow And Bone S2||50,400,000||Unknown|
|Raising Dion S2||49,090,000||Canceled|
|Fate: The Winx Saga||48,960,000||Canceled|
|Warrior Nun S2||26,220,000||Canceled|
How does the CVE (complete viewing equivalent – divide the number of hours vs. the show’s runtime) look? It tells the same story, with the show struggling to get more CVE than Sweet Tooth season 2 after its first 14 days:
In week 2, our top 10 report looked at the evolution of the series and compare it to several other YA fantasy shows that also weren’t renewed:
Completion data for Shadow and Bone season 2
Thanks to exclusive data from PlumResearch, we’ve got an idea as to how many people started and went onto finish the show (at least from their broad US panel of viewers).
Their data states:
- After seven days, 36.3% of people who had started the second season had finished
- After 28 days, 52.2% of people who had started the second season had finished
- After 90 days, 56.8% of people who had started the second season finished.
More completion data from them released in July allows us to compare with other shows.
|Title||CR 7D (%)||CR 28D (%)||CR 90D (%)|
|Ginny & Georgia S2||47.90%||69.60%||73.70%|
|Firefly Lane S2||44.60%||65.50%||70%|
|Outer Banks S3||44.70%||62.40%||66%|
|The Night Agent S1||42.30%||56.60%||59.60%|
|Love is Blind S4||61.70%||44.70%||52.70%|
|That ’90s Show S1||39.10%||47.40%||49%|
|The Recruit S1||30.20%||45.40%||48.40%|
Raw Top 10 Data from FlixPatrol
One positive sign for the show is its ability to stick around in the top 10s for a sustained period of time.
According to FlixPatrol, the show was still the fourth biggest around the globe as of April 4th, 2023, and showed particular strength in countries like Australia, the Nordics, and Central to East Europe.
At the very least, we’d be looking for Shadow and Bone to stay in the top 10s until a month has passed since season 2 debuted.
External Data Demand for Shadow and Bone
TelevisionStats.com uses metrics from around the web, including Wikipedia traffic, IMDb traffic, Twitter, Reddit, and Torrents, to judge the most “in-demand” shows at any given time. Shadow and Bone look to have performed well in this department:
How about critical consensus?
On that front, things look decent. Season 2 on RottenTomatoes scored well with critics (just like season 1), with an 84% rating compared to the 89% for season 1.
IMDb scores for the individual episodes in season 2 ranged from 7.6 to 8.6.
Nielsen Top 10 Data for Shadow and Bone Season 2
Moving onto Nielsen’s top 10 data (also tracked via our top 10 search tool), we can see how the show has evolved from season 1 to season 2. Their data tracks connected device viewership, specifically in the United States.
As seen below, the show had good viewership in week one and week two but notably didn’t grow between those two weeks and, worse yet, saw around a 50% drop in week 3:
What to Expect from Shadow and Bone Season 3
There’s a lot of story left to be told in Shadow and Bone season 3, even though much of the main book trilogy has now been adapted (somewhat controversially, it has to be said), with season 2 covering much of the events of Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising.
The finale of season 2 shows us the Darkling’s death but notably diverges from the books by splitting the pair up and introducing a new darkness into Alina’s world.
The show’s creators have teased that any new season would consist of a mix of new original material while also weaving in some of the King of Scars duology novels.
Netflix Life detailed some of the biggest burning questions for season 3, including:
- Is Alina now a Shadow Summoner?
- What’s happening to Nikolai at the end of Shadow and Bone season 2?
- What is the drug “jurda parem” the Crows are trying to stop?
Will there be a Shadow and Bone Spinoff?
Since season 1 debuted, we’ve consistently heard rumors of a Six of Crows spin-off.
Eric Heisserer confirmed these plans to Entertainment Weekly on March 16th, telling the access outlet the spin-off would “be its own little season of fun that our characters would get to be a part of,” but added that it depends largely on the numbers for season 2.
“There’s a lot of work that’s gone into the planning of this. The hope is then we get to act on that planning,” Heisserer told EW. “But of course, it’s about how well season 2 numbers do. And if so, then Daegan and I will continue to carry the mantle of both shows, which is also helpful because we have a lot of mouths to feed” — in terms of giving screen time to all the actors.”
Numerous production listing websites and outlets have confirmed that Six of Crows is in “active development,”
Netflix told us that while a Six of Crows series has been in development, it isn’t near a greenlit stage but is subject to change.
Shadow and Bone: Destinies Coming Soon to Netflix
Finally, in 2022 Netflix announced it would be releasing a mobile companion game for Shadow and Bone slated for release in 2023 but clearly wasn’t ready in time for the release of season 2.
Here’s what you can expect from the title per the game’s developer, Chimera Entertainment:
“Shadow and Bone: Destinies is a single-player role-playing game for Netflix’s gaming service on mobile devices, based on the IP of the same name. Players choose a variety of heroes to journey across the world of the Grishaverse in a story-driven quest to fulfill their destinies. Along the way, they will have to manage scarce resources, uncover clues about their destiny, and interact in a wide variety of events, such as using Grisha magic, stealth, negotiation, and combat. The game could also be described as a modern “choose your own adventure” game, with a healthy dose of RPG and episodic storytelling.”
Do you want to see the return of Shadow and Bone for a season 3 and a spin-off? Let us know in the comments down below.