Netflix just canceled this popular show that reached No. 1

A TV with the Netflix logo sits behind a hand holding a remote
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Netflix has canceled yet another popular series, with superhero drama Raising Dion killed off after its second season.

The news was broken by cast member Sammi Haney, who posted on Instagram that she was "Sad to say that Raising Dion is CANCELED 😳😢" before going on to thank fans for their support and point out that many of them wanted a third instalment of the show.

Haney's castmate Alisha Wainwright also took to social media in the wake of the show's demise, tweeting that she was "heartbroken" that it wouldn't get a third season. “I feel Raising Dion did so much for little black and brown children and children with disabilities,” she added.

The decision is something of a surprise, given that Raising Dion scored a healthy 83% from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, although an average audience score of 52% wasn't quite so positive. 

And, as Haney's Instagram post made clear, it certainly found plenty of fans on Netflix, topping the streaming service's U.S. top 10 briefly when its second series aired in February this year and finishing second globally for the week ending February 6. It also racked up some 108.75 million viewer hours in its first 26 days on the service, as detailed by What's on Netflix

The Michael B Jordan-produced show was based on a 2015 comic book by Dennis Liu and follows 10-year-old Dion Warren (Ja’Siah Young) as he mysteriously gains superhero-like abilities. His single mom Nicole (Wainwright) attempts to help him manage his new powers and figure out their origin, while coping with the death of her husband. Haney played Esperanza Jimenez, Dion's classmate and best friend.

It's yet another addition to the list of Netflix canceled shows in 2022, following the likes of Archive 81The Baby-Sitters ClubGentefied and On the Verge. And Netflix isn't stopping there, the streamer just canceled another show after a single season just days after Raising Dion was axed. 

Last week we also heard that a long-in-development animated adaptation of comic book series Bone has reportedly been canceled before the first episode aired and that a sequel to Will Smith's movie Bright will not now be made. 

Analysis: What exactly is Netflix's strategy?

This cancelation is yet another puzzling one. As with Archive 81 and The Baby-Sitters Club, Raising Dion appeared to be popular with critics and to have found an audience on Netflix. If a show that's both successful and highly rated is killed off prematurely, why should subscribers to what is still one of the best streaming services stick around?

Clearly, money could be an issue. We don't know what Raising Dion's budget was, but we do that Netflix is in trouble right now, having just lost subscribers for first time in over a decade and with predictions that things will get worse before they get better.

At the same time, we heard earlier this week that Netflix spent a reported $30m per episode on Stranger Things season 4; that's $270m in total if true, which could possibly have impacted decisions on what other shows to cancel. While Netflix seems to love investing in true crime, Hulu's nipping at its heels with shows such as The Dropout (just released) and we bet many will tune in to watch Under the Banner of Heaven online to see Andrew Garfield star in the next big true crime show.

Of course that's just one theory; Netflix has vast amounts of data about how shows are viewed, and most of it isn't made public. Maybe Raising Dion had a retention issue or there was some other factor behind its demise. For example, Netflix is losing Schitt's Creek to one of its biggest competitors, but this is possibly more about how the CBC is tired of working with Netflix.

What we do know is that at one stage, not that long ago, it was the No. 1 show on U.S. Netflix for at least one day — leaving us with more questions than answers and increasingly wondering whether there's any point in watching a new series on Netflix.

There is one silver lining to Raising Dion's cancellation, though: Haney's Instagram post also pointed out her Netflix contract kept her from accepting other big roles, and that she'd now be free to take them on.

In other streaming news, we're really excited for the Shining Girls release date, as Apple TV Plus looks like it has yet another winner on the table. Plus, our editor's discovered a Chromecast with Google TV flaw that's really annoying. And believe it or not, but Avatar 2 has a title and a teaser trailer.

Marc McLaren

Formerly Editor in Chief (U.K.) on Tom’s Guide, Marc oversaw all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage, and was also responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output. He is now U.K. Editor in Chief on TechRadar. Marc previously edited the tech website Stuff and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and much more. He also spent years on a music magazine, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun, and on a car magazine. An avid photographer, he likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). When he gets time, he also enjoys gaming (console and mobile), cycling and attempting to watch as much sport as any human can. He's also fallen in love with Wordle over the past six months and is the author of our today's Wordle answer column, in which he supplies hints and strategy tips for the mega-popular word game. Given he's completed every single Wordle so far and only lost once, and analyzed every Wordle answer in search of patterns, he's well qualified to help you safeguard your streak.

  • wolfendoc
    Netflix. Cancelled.

    After 12+ years, they haven't offered us much more than an increase in our bill. They keep taking shows away that are engaging and empowering. There's just no value in Netflix anymore and the subscribers are showing them that by leaving in droves. Especially with so many other streaming services with lower fees and similar, if not better, programming...

    Bye, Netflix! I wish you well in all you do!
  • Honeycomb888
    admin said:
    The curse of Netflix continues — another popular show has been prematurely axed.

    Netflix just canceled this show with 83% Rotten Tomatoes score : Read more
    Netflix does this repeatedly. It cancelled Russian Doll 3 yrs ago after one season. It was highly rated, received 3 Emmy wins, and was nominated for 48 different awards. (Raising Dion rec'd only 4 award nominations and 2 Emmy wins). Both series were highly rated by IMDB (7.8 Russian Doll, 7.1 Raising Dion), and by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, although audience score for Dion was only 52%, which isn't great. Russian Doll ended with a cliffhanger, then it was announced later the series was cancelled. It also abruptly cancelled The Santa Clarita Diet with Drew Barrymore; it was rated 89% by critics on RottenTomatoes and 94% by the audience. A resounding success, but cancelled anyway, without conclusion of the plot. I cancelled my subscription after the Russian Doll cancellation. Why get hooked on good series, with great award nominations and audience approval and viewing hours, only to cancel abruptly? I may re-subscribe to watch Russian Doll, which has been renewed with a second season.