Peacock's First Big TV Cancellation Is Bad News For Sci-Fi Fans

NBCUniversal's new streaming service Peacock debuted back in July, and its big-ticket original at the time of launch seemed primed for a multi-season run. Now, however, the show has already gotten the axe. Brave New World, based on Aldous Huxley's somewhat problematic sci-fi novel of the same name, has been cancelled and won't be back for a second season on Peacock. Maybe there wasn't enough of the binge-watching that one star recommended!

Peacock confirmed that Brave New World won't return for Season 2 in a statement to Deadline, also saying that executive producer David Wiener "created a thought-provoking and cinematic adaptation" and that they "look forward to telling more stories with David in the future." Those stories just won't pick up on the open endings from the close of Brave New World Season 1.

That said, Brave New World evidently isn't necessarily done for good. Production company UCP will reportedly shop the show around to other outlets. Considering the first season packed in everything from violence to orgies, Brave New World would presumably either need another platform that lets it cross lines that can't be crossed on cable or network TV, or change pretty drastically. Interestingly, Brave New World was originally being developed for Syfy and USA Network before being moved to Peacock.

Peacock has not released viewership data for Brave New World, so viewers can only speculate about the numbers that led to the show's cancellation. Streaming services often keep their viewership numbers in-house, with Netflix's announcements mostly just delivering good news about its biggest hits, like Cobra Kai and Ratched. The expensive sci-fi drama was Peacock's only NBCUniversal scripted series that was available for viewers when the new streaming service launched in July, as a major selling point for potential subscribers to check out.

Unlike the Aldous Huxley novel that inspired it, Peacock's Brave New World left the story open for more development at the end, with the three main characters still alive, and characters like Joseph Morgan's CJack60 primed for potential larger roles in any future seasons. After the revolution that overthrew the caste system of New London, the possibilities were endless.

That said, I wouldn't argue that Brave New World Season 1 ended on any particularly painful cliffhangers, but rather just open endings that could be continued. I enjoyed the wild ride of the first season for what it was but won't be devastated about any unfinished stories if Brave New World doesn't find a new home on another platform.

brave new world season 1 peacock

(Image credit: Peacock)

A big question is where Brave New World could fit, if rescued and given a Season 2. Netflix found some hits with unconventional series based on source material, as with The Witcher and the twice-cancelled Lucifer, but Netflix has also been cancelling a lot of shows lately.

Amazon could be a fit, but the super expensive Lord of the Rings series is likely to be a priority over any other genre project, and The Expanse already stands as a rescued sci-fi drama. Still, there are always premium cable networks and other platforms, so maybe Brave New World isn't really done for good.

You can find the first season of Brave New World streaming on Peacock now, and the streamer will be the home of plenty of originals despite the cancellation. For some other TV options, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).