Despite being a certified hit, Netflix canceled the Canadian series, Anne with an E after three seasons. Here’s a look at what went down.
Anne with an E is the coming-of-age Netflix series that tells the story of the adolescent Anne Shirley, who finds herself adopted into a small family on Prince Edward Island on the Eastern Coast of Canada. Loosely based on the Anne of Green Gables books by Lisa Maud Montgomery, this Canadian series brings the classic tale to life with a modern twist to appeal to a newer generation of viewers.
The show’s fantastic plot combined with the cottagecore aesthetic made Anne with an E ideal for laid-back viewing. The series managed to maintain a light-hearted feel to it while tackling several issues, including gender inequality, racism, and child abandonment. Notably, Anne with an E took home the Canadian Screen Award (the Canadian Primetime Emmy equivalent) for Best Drama Series, living up to every expectation set by the books on which the show is based. In an unfortunate turn of events, however, Netflix canceled the series after three seasons, leaving many wondering why exactly that happened.
Despite the show’s positive reviews and the warm reception from audiences, Anne with an E was still subject to the ax, getting cut from the Netflix lineup. This decision shocked fans of the series everywhere, leaving everyone scratching their head and wondering why exactly the series was dropped. Some initially speculated that the reason for the show’s cancelation was that it didn’t meet the ratings necessary to fund the production of the show.
To clarify this further, the show’s producer Moria Walley-Beckett wrote in an Instagram post: ‘Please know that we fought. We tried to change their minds. We tried to find a new home. We tried for a finale movie … We tried our best […] Art and Commerce is never an easy marriage. I often find it inexplicable. This is one of those times. But it’s impossible to argue with words like Economics, Algorithms, Demographics, etc., etc. But those words and others like them are the reason why the Networks don’t want to continue’.
However, the timing of Anne with an E’s cancelation lines up with the show’s Canadian network, CBC, cutting ties with Netflix altogether. This is another potential reason that the series was canceled as Netflix shows are contractually restricted from seeking a new network immediately after the streaming platform cancels them, as seen with Daredevil and the other Marvel TV shows on Netflix (formerly), which moved to Disney+ years after they were canceled. CEO of CBC, Catherine Tait, admitted that the network thought that producing content for Netflix was hurting the Canadian film industry, yet another potential reason that added to the show’s cancelation.
While the producers have made it clear that Anne with an E will not make a return to the screen, many fans are still hopeful. Despite the efforts of thousands to renew Anne with an E with petitions to the studios since its cancelation in 2019, there has been no sign that anything more will come out of the series. Also considering the fact that Amybeth McNulty has aged up, and no longer fits the role of the adolescent Anne, we can safely say that the series has come to a close — though Anne with an E will live on in our hearts.
If you’d like to see more performances from Anne with an E title star Amybeth McNulty, her film All My Puny Sorrows is worth a watch; McNulty also gives a great performance as Vickie in the fourth season of Stranger Things.