Sources say producer Constantin Film lost its output deal with Netflix, which didn’t make the genre drama financially feasible at the Disney-owned cable network.
Freeform’s Shadowhunters is coming to an end.
The genre drama produced by Constantin Film has been canceled after three seasons. The series, based on the Mortal Instruments feature film franchise, will wrap up in the spring with the second half of season three and an additional two-hour series finale for a total of 12 episodes.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Constantin lost its output deal with Netflix, which helped to foot the bill for the pricey project. Without the streaming giant’s financial backing, Constantin sought a greater cash infusion from Freeform, which sources say was unable to afford to keep the series running.
“We are very proud of Shadowhunters, a series that broke new ground in the genre world and became a fan favorite,” the network said Monday in a statement. “However, along with our partners at Constantin, we reached the very difficult decision not to renew the show for a fourth season. But as big supporters and fans ourselves, Freeform insisted on and championed the filming of a special two-part finale that would give devoted fans a proper ending. The 12 episodes will air in spring 2019. We want to thank our talented creators, producers, cast and crew along with our colleagues at Constantin for their hard work and dedication and to Cassie Clare for her incredible book series. We look forward to the final chapter of this breakthrough drama.”
While not a huge breakout for Freeform, Shadowhunters was a sturdy performer for Disney’s younger-skewing cable network. Its most recent third season — which received an additional 10-episode order ahead of its debut — averaged around 500,000 live-same day viewers, though it is worth noting that a considerable tally of Freeform viewers watch via nonlinear platforms. The second half of the 20-episode third season was originally slated for the summer, but will now be packaged with the additional two-part series finale for the spring.
Shadowhunters was picked up straight to series and changed showrunners after season one. Former Smallville showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer replaced Ed Decter, who developed the series for Freeform. The drama is produced by Constantin and based on the bestselling YA fantasy book series by Clare.
Katherine McNamara stars as Clary Fray, a woman who finds out on her 18th birthday that she is not who she thinks she is, but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters — human-angel hybrids that hunt down demons. Dominic Sherwood, Alberto Rosende, Matthew Daddario, Emeraude Toubia, Isaiah Mustafa and Harry Shum Jr. also star.
The decision comes as Freeform recently launched (and renewed) fellow genre play Siren. The cable network, under president Tom Ascheim and head of development Karey Burke, is also ending The Fosters with a supersized finale that leads into a spinoff. Freeform’s scripted roster also includes Famous in Love (which is also awaiting word on its future), Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger, The Bold Type, Pretty Little Liars spinoff The Perfectionists, Grown-ish, Alone Together and recent straight-to-series multicamera comedy Besties, from Kenya Barris (Black-ish, Grown-ish).