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Hulu just canceled this show with 87% audience on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s only been three months since Awakening Season 2 hit Hulu, but it looks like the animated live-action comedy hasn’t racked up big enough numbers to justify a third. Term (will open in a new tab) reports that the show, inspired by the life of artist Keith Knight, was canceled after just 16 episodes.

The show followed the life of Keith Knight, a black cartoonist who created the deliberately light comic Toast & Butter. After being racially profiled by the police, a traumatized Knight finds himself able to see and hear everyday objects speaking to him and directs his newfound understanding of social injustice to his work.

Walk starred Lamorne Morris, Blake Anderson, T. Murph, Sashir Zamata and J. B. Smoove, and Knight himself developed the show with Marshall Todd.

While there are few details in the Deadline report, it seems highly likely that the series simply didn’t hit the numbers needed to justify a third season. And while shows on streaming platforms can (usually) be watched indefinitely if the program doesn’t produce results in the first few months, the hard truth is that it probably never will – except for a sudden interest from viral TikTok or the like.

Indeed, a lack of interest seems especially likely when you look at Rotten Tomatoes. Whereas the first season got a solid, if unremarkable, 74% fresh results. (will open in a new tab), the second season just didn’t get enough critical acclaim to score. It’s a shame, as the audience rating jumped from 76% in the first season to a whopping 97% in the second. (will open in a new tab).

This really highlights the importance of making a great first impression in this brave new world of streaming.

Streaming can be brutal

Woke up with Lamorne Morris

(Image credit: Hulu)

As I’ve written before, while you obviously can’t afford to be sentimental when creating a multi-million dollar show, there’s an inherent risk of being seen as the lucky trigger when it comes to cancellation. After all, if you can’t be trusted to finish a story, why would anyone listen when you’re promoting your latest one?

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of a world in which Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are in charge of finding the next big thing is that the sleeper hit doesn’t really exist anymore. If a show doesn’t deliver results, it’s dead – indeed, it’s only in 2022 that Netflix’s canceled shows are already in the double digits.

It’s a shame, as some of the most loved shows, especially comedies like Woke, take time to find their voice. Will the streaming giant get a chance to thrive with shows like Seinfeld or The Office that suffered from low ratings in their early years? Almost certainly not – and that’s a serious concern.

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