Amazon Prime Video just canceled Paper Girls after one season

Paper Girls
(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Despite an incredibly strong 90% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Paper Girls — a show which attracted comparisons to Netflix’s runaway smash hit Stranger Things — won’t be being renewed for a second season, Deadline has revealed.

The news comes just over a month after all ten episodes were released on Amazon Prime on July 29, which is usually the ‘make-or-break’ window for new shows. The site states that the show failed to beak into Neilsen’s weekly streaming rankings in that time. The received wisdom is that if a series doesn’t garner sufficient attention in its first month, it never will. 

Sleeper hits are more of a rarity in a world where so much new content is arriving every month, and Paper Girls faced stiff competition with the likes of She-Hulk, The Sandman and Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon all arriving in August.  Indeed, on Amazon Prime alone Paper Girls was quickly overshadowed by the arrival of LOTR: The Rings of Power which arrived 34 days later.

But there is still hope for fans of Paper Girls, as Deadline’s sources say that Legendary TV — the studio behind the show — will be actively shopping the series to other networks. The site suggests that this won’t be based on Stranger Things parallels, which clearly didn’t do enough to elevate the show on Amazon, but will instead emphasize its ability to showcase three-dimensional female leads, just as shows like Euphoria and Sex Lives of College Girls have done before.

Of course, fans of Brian K. Vaughan’s work have been in this boat before. The last TV adaptation of his comics — Y: The Last Man — was also axed after a single season on Hulu back in 2021. In that case, there were no takers for a second season, and the show ended without the resolution that fans hoped for.

In both comic book and TV show form, Paper Girls has the same premise: on Halloween 1988, four young girls find themselves flung 30 years into the future, and mixed up in a war between different factions of time travellers. 

Amazon’s ten-episode run ended with a very clear cliffhanger, so hopefully another network will be along to pick it up from where it left off. If not, it’s just more evidence that getting invested in a new streaming show is a recipe for disappointment.

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Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.