One of Netflix’s new fledgling shows of 2021 for kids that dropped over the summer will not be returning for season 2 according to the show’s creator, Elizabeth Ito. The creator has gone on to criticize Netflix in numerous ways which we’ll cover below.
Released in March 2021, the kids animation from Netflix Animation followed a young girl who was able to communicate and learn from ghosts who lived in and around Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Ito was behind the series who notably worked on Adventure Time and served as storyboard artists on big feature films such as The Angry Birds Movie 2 and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
The series was only given a six-episode order upfront.
Will City of Ghosts be back for season 2 at Netflix?
Officially, the show is still pending renewal or cancelation.
Although it’s never been explicitly canceled, the creator of the show has alluded that no more episodes have been ordered and Netflix won’t likely be going forward.
If you’d pardon the pun for a second, we suspect the show has been what we refer to as “ghost-canceled”. That’s whereby the series never gets renewed or canceled officially (ie announcement or confirmation to the press – Netflix declined to comment to our request).
That’s relatively unusual for a Netflix Animation show. Netflix’s strategy with kids content in recent years has been to buy a big upfront order. Dreamworks titles for example were given huge upfront orders but more recently, we’ve seen titles like Centaurworld and Dogs in Space been given a two-season upfront order usually across 20 episodes.
Elizabeth Ito Experience with Netflix Animation Following the Show
On Twitter, Elizabeth Ito has been very open about her gripes with Netflix’s handling of the show, particularly in recent months. It’s fascinating to look back through her time with Netflix Animation from the humble beginnings to being part of a big new bold team and then seemingly overnight left in the dark.
A frequent complaint we’ve heard from numerous creators (who often don’t wish to be named) is the lack of contact they get from Netflix particularly when a show does not perform. In numerous Tweets, Ito expressed similar sentiments saying:
December 1st – “The hardest thing about the disconnect between accolades City of Ghosts wins, and the lack of any pride from Netflix? I don’t have any answers to give for the question of “doesn’t it matter?” for the crew & cast who made magic happen and were hoping to continue making it.”
October 28th – “Even just a “congratulations” to my show’s team from Netflix, in any form- social media, email, whatever- would’ve been nice. But clearly, they don’t care? It’s really not computing for me…”
Back in October, Elizabeth talked about what happened when she spoke to Netflix about the metrics of the show.
For all their talk of transparency, it felt hella weird when I started asking questions about what the metrics showed, and what I was being told was what I should try to create next if I wanted to continue being successful at Netflix Animation.
— Elizabeth! 👻 (@kikutowne) October 16, 2021
Finally, in a series of Tweets on December 4th, Elizabeth talked about how Netflix often doesn’t give its shows room to breathe saying:
“It makes me really happy the way it seems like City of Ghosts keeps getting discovered by new people every couple months. It’s also a really big sign that Netflix Animation’s creative development system is extremely flawed- they leave no time for ideas to grow their audience.
It takes a while (as in, more than the first month it’s out) for people to find it and warm up to it (or not). Especially when you’re hitting them with too many new shows all at once. They should be giving projects a lot longer than that to prove themselves.
I hope things will change there, so that more people get to try making more weird, personal things. It’s pretty fun and delivers really dope results”
Speaking about the change of culture at Netflix Animation Ito said:
“It’s a much different studio now. I wouldn’t be able to do what I did back then again, now. Their wants & needs are different. It’s clear from all the latest headlines. But it was so nice to have had the opportunity that I did, when I did.”
There are plenty more Tweets that provide a lot more context on Ito’s Twitter feed who is refreshingly honest about her experience with Netflix.
— Elizabeth! 👻 (@kikutowne) November 1, 2021
What’s next for Elizabeth Ito? She scored an overall deal at Apple TV where she’s working on a brand new project.
We reached out to Elizabeth Ito with questions surrounding the show but we’re yet to hear back. We’ll update if and when we do.
Do you wish City of Ghosts was getting a second season? Let us know in the comments down below.