One Reason Sandman's Season 2 Renewal May Have Taken So Long At Netflix

Tom Sturridge as The Sandman
(Image credit: Netflix)

Fans of Neil Gaiman’s seminal work The Sandman had to wait literal decades to finally see the comic book series on screen. Then when they finally got the first season of the Netflix series on the 2022 TV schedule they fell in love. However, following Season 1’s success viewers once again had to wait longer than the average fan to find out if the fantasy series would get a Season 2. Turns out Warner Bros. boss David Zaslav may have had something to do with it. 

Neil Gaiman did offer an explanation as to why fans hadn’t heard about Season 2 about a month after the show’s release on Netflix, noting that The Sandman is “a really expensive show” to make. He said for Netflix to greenlight Season 2, the first season needed to perform “incredibly well.”

Well, it did perform well, but fans still had to wait until November to find out that Netflix had finally renewed The Sandman for Season 2. 

According to Deadline, Zaslav had become unhappy with how Netflix structured their deals with producers because they would pay them over the course of 18 to 24 months, even though this is not a new payment plan. However, Warner Bros. Television is one of the biggest external suppliers for the streamer, producing Netflix Originals like The Sandman, You and Sweet Tooth. Incredibly popular WBTV's shows like Supernatural, Riverdale and The Flash are also available to those with Netflix subscriptions, meaning some of Warner Bros. most popular TV shows all reside on Netflix. And Zaslav had apparently made his frustration about the payment plan clear to many at Warner Bros. Discovery. 

A Warner Bros. Discovery insider explained to Deadline Zaslav's frustration with the payment terms between WB and Netflix, saying he told employees to pause selling completed series to the streamer for weeks, saying: 

It’s an odd way of looking at it. It’s obviously the way the industry works and has worked with Netflix. He’s paid big numbers [by Netflix] and the company has been happy with that. It’s like he suddenly discovered what the payment terms were.

According to the article, Zaslav’s frustration with Netflix comes directly after the renewal of The Sandman, which is a high-budget series. 

I know I was shocked when it took almost three months for the Season 2 announcement, because the show had been a massive hit that wracked up 200 million hours of views within its first ten days on Netflix. Learning this information about Zaslav makes the reasons behind the wait a bit clearer. 

The Sandman is a beloved DC property from Neil Gaiman, who has been very open about his love for the adaptation. Plus the show was not only watched by millions but praised by critics, some saying it was one of the best adaptations they’ve ever seen. From a viewer’s standpoint it seemed like a show that would have been renewed immediately, but learning this insider information, it seems like this business deal may have been a contributing factor in the amount of time it took to renew Gaiman’s series. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.