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Fans of Freeform's Shadowhunters have likely been on the hunt for an answer as to why the series was cancelled. One has now arrived, and the decision all came down to economics, as opposed to the network having any problems with the genre drama's creative direction. It's not exactly an encouraging reveal, is it?
Freeform's co-production partner, the Germany-located company Constantin Film, lost its output deal with Netflix when Freeform decided to start ordering original series in smaller doses. In light of that move, the burden was on the network and the production company to make a bigger financial commitment, but the talks fell apart in the end. Explaining further, Freeform's head of programming Karey Burke said this:
We went back and forth with them but ultimately we just couldn't make the economics work. We were very happy creatively with it.
Fans dealing with the blow of Shadowhunters' cancellation can take some solace in it having nothing to do with the show's creative integrity or the network's happiness with the stories that executive producers Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin were telling. Karey Burke maintained that Freeform is "at peace" with its choice to cancel the series, per Deadline. While the series has been cancelled, the show will still give fans more of that creative streak for a while longer. The first half of Shadowhunters' third season finished airing last month, while the second half is set to air in 2019.
When Shadowhunters ends next year, it will finish with a two-part finale that will complete the TV show's adaptation of Cassandra Clare's popular Mortal Instruments novels. The final half-season, entitled Shadowhunters: The Final Hunt, will be comprised of 12 episodes, and fans can take heart in knowing they will not be robbed of seeing the show wrap its story completely. There may be nothing worse for fans than a series ending without any closure. Thankfully, Freeform cancelled the show with enough wherewithal to give the creative powers the ability to finish the narrative, either angelically or demonically.
While it may be small comfort, it is something. If only creativity and fan appreciation were all a show had to rely on in order to continue indefinitely. Unfortunately, economics come into play all too often when a network doesn't fully own a project. In this somewhat rare instance, those economics apparently do not involve viewership stats or ratings, which are usually the main reasons for a network to pull the plug on a series. Shadowhunters' passionate fanbase has rapturously supported the series, which not every TV show can rely on, so here's hoping the creative team finds a way to keep the story going beyond Season 3.
Freeform has not set a premiere date for Shadowhunters' final batch of episodes, so stay tuned. For what to watch while you wait, check out CinemaBlend's guide to TV's summer premieres. If you want to know what's coming after summer, check out the 2018 network TV rundown to find out what other shows have been cancelled, and which ones have been renewed.