After two seasons of getting boots on the moon and trying to justify the existence of a sixth military branch, space force could no longer justify its existence to Netflix. The show, which featured Steve Carell in the lead role as Chief of Space Operations Mark Naird, was canceled to the streamer by Deadline. Marc and his team will have to consider exploring different careers after all.
The show debuted following the actual creation of the US Space Force, following General Naird as he handed over the reins to the new branch of the military. He and his crew are tasked with bringing the organization up to standard with the rest of the military, an act easier said than done considering all the obstacles the new space branch faces. The first season put Marc and his crew on trial by fire as they were immediately tasked with getting humans back to the moon by 2024. Its second season, which was released in February, followed the fallout from the lunar mission as Space Force was given four months to prove its worth to the military.
space force boasted of a dream cast in front of Carrell, with John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Fawn Newsome, Diana Silvers, Jimmy O. Yangand Don Lake make up the regulars. Back in Season 1, the show also boasted Lisa Kudrow as Naird’s wife and the late star Fred Willard like his father. He also reunited Carell with Office Creator Greg Daniels who created the show with the star and acted as co-showrunner with Norm Hiscockwhose writing and production credits include Parks and recreation, Children in the room, king of the hilland Brooklyn nine-nine.
Despite the extremely talented cast and crew, space force took too long to land with critics and audiences in the same way as previous work by Daniels, Hiscock and Carell. Season 1 only earned a 39% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, though its follow-up received far higher praise with a return to the more relationship-based workplace comedy style than Daniels and Carell honed in 2005. Season 2 seemed to right the ship, but it still wasn’t enough to save the characters for another try.
What finally hurt space force was more than likely cost versus audience. Season 1 saw a significant time among Netflix’s most-watched shows, even ranking atop Netflix’s Daily Top 10, but Season 2 didn’t see the same love. It also broke into the Daily Top 10 but never topped number 5. For a show as ambitious as space force with a budget of around a million per episode in its first season, that didn’t bode well considering the streamer’s tendency to end relatively unprofitable properties.
Daniels is still linked at the hip with Netflix despite the show being canceled. He works on animated comedies Explosive kittens and Bad Crimes for the platform.