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The Sandman Creator Neil Gaiman Offers Explanation For Why Season 2 Renewal Hasn't Happened At Netflix Yet

Lucifer in red in The Sandman
(Image credit: Netflix)

One of the most highly anticipated comic book adaptations of all time hit streaming in early August, as Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman entered live-action to unleash its deep and emotional storytelling on Netflix subscribers. By and large, viewers seem to agree that it was more than worth the wait to witness Dream’s journey as a full-blown episodic spectacle, as opposed to more limited feature-length approaches in the past. And given how popular it has been since first debuting, an increasing number of fans are wondering why the streaming service has yet to officially commit to renewing The Sandman for Season 2. Gaiman himself isn’t confused or surprised by the wait, though.

When a fan on Twitter offered up compliments about The Sandman going beyond expectations, and pondered why a Season 2 renewal wasn’t more of a sure thing at Netflix, given its success so far, Gaiman responded with:

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Such is the somewhat disheartening world of high-profile media, where more eyeballs is the most important metric possible. And for all that Neil Gaiman may have been optimistic and hopeful about Season 2 plans going into the first season’s release, it’s possible that he’s gained a renewed understanding of just how hard it can be to secure a future at Netflix despite having a big and devoted audience. Or maybe he’s just being deviously coy and feeding into his Desire-esque qualities.

Any way it goes, The Sandman absolutely needs to continue crushing out with Netflix viewers in order to fully convince the company’s execs that it deserves the funding to bring more comic issues to life in all their magical and demonic glory. It’s obviously still too close to call, and probably will be until at least its first four weeks of release can be measured, but if the numbers stay as solid as they are, we can all dream a little dream of Dream’s return.

The Sandman quickly hit the #1 stop in Netflix’s Top 10 TV charts the day after it premiered, and stayed in that slot for a full week until the final season premiere of the coming-of-age comedy Never Have I Ever. The star-studded epic stayed affixed to that second-place slot for around a week before retaking the top ranking for two days, after which it was overtaken by Michelle Monaghan’s thriller Echoes. While it’s not necessarily a rare event for a Netflix series to bounce back up to the top after falling to #2, it happens less than one might think, especially as streaming audiences find newer projects to binge through over time.

Someone well aware of how viewership can affect the fate of a high-budget comic book adaptation is Locke & Key co-creator Joe Hill, who celebrated the third and final season of the dark fantasy horror this month as well. (Though it never topped The Sandman.) Hill shared Gaiman’s response on Twitter and advised anyone on the fence to hop off and dig in, saying:

Cannot emphasize enough -- if you were thinking of giving #Sandman a try, don't wait. To use a horrid industry term, engagement matters, especially immediate, overwhelming engagement. We can have 5 - 7 seasons of this, but only if you show Netflix you want it.

Neil Gaiman shared with CinemaBlend that he was most affected by filming Episode 6 of the first season, with Kirby Howell-Baptiste’s performance as Death winning him over immensely. And I think we can all agree he and the show’s co-creators Allan Heinberg and David S. Goyer all deserve to deliver more awe-inspiring moments through adapting the next 2 Sandman comic collections. So keep watching and keep telling Netflix how much you love it!

The Sandman is available to stream again and again and again on Netflix, and head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what else is on the way after you’ve watched The Sandman at least a dozen more times. Two dozen?

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.