Following a drop in subscribers, Netflix is tightening its purse strings. According to Deadline, the streaming service canceled production on Pearl, an animated series created by Meghan Markle, before it was even completed.
The project was part of a multi-year production agreement signed by Markle and Prince Harry with Netflix in 2020. The animated family series followed a 12-year-old girl as she learned about historical figures who influenced her.
The show is just the latest casualty in the streamer’s recent cost-cutting measures, which include firing most of the writing staff for its fan site project and canceling the show Space Force. According to People, it also canceled two other animated children’s shows, Dino Daycare and Boons, and Curses.
Netflix confirmed to CNBC that the cancellation of Pearl is part of the company’s strategic decisions regarding animated series.
Since 2018, the platform has made significant investments in animation, and Loup Ventures estimates that it will spend $5 billion on original animated content this year. However, the company’s boomtown mentality appears to have shifted, at least for the time being.
Following a disappointing first-quarter earnings call last month, the company’s market value plummeted by a whopping $60 billion. In the first few months of 2022, the streamer lost about 200,000 subscribers, its first drop in nearly a decade.
The drop was caused by a number of factors, including competition from rival platforms such as Disney+ and Hulu, the suspension of service to Russia, and widespread password sharing.
According to Deadline, a number of projects are still in the works at Archwell Productions, the production company owned by Markle and Prince Harry, including a docuseries about the Invictus Games.