‘Cowboy Bebop’ has been cancelled after only one season

When will they learn?

words by: Alee Kwong
Jan 4, 2022

We all saw this coming, right? Netflix has officially canceled the live-action Cowboy Bebop adaptation after one season, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter — just three short weeks after its arrival on the streaming platform. Though a lot of shows on Netflix are not renewed, The Hollywood Reporter alluded to the show’s poor reception as the reason for its abrupt cancellation.


What it is

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop Season 1 stars John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, Elena Satine as Julia, and Alex Hassell as Vicious. The show is based upon the original Cowboy Bebop, a neo-noir space western anime series created by the Japanese animation studio Sunrise.


Why is was cancelled

Reports indicate that the 10-episode series had racked up nearly 74 million viewing hours since premiering on November 19, though it saw a large decline of 59% from November 29 to December 5. Inside sources point towards the plummeting ratings, negative reception and cost towards the decision to cancel Cowboy Bebop.



“Maybe next time, Space Cowboy — this live-action Bebop has a fun enough crew to spend time with, but it disappointingly replaces the soulfulness of the source material with kitsch,” the critics consensus for Cowboy Bebop Season 1 on Rotten Tomatoes reads.


The anime

The original Cowboy Bebop anime initially aired on TV Tokyo from April 3, 1998 to June 26, 1998. The TV Tokyo airing omitted many episodes but included an extra special. The 26-episode series was then shown in its entirety on Wowow from Oct. 24, 1998 to April 24, 1999.


Cowboy Bebop later made its way to the United States via Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block, with its first English run airing from Sept. 3, 2001 to Nov. 26, 2001. However, three episodes were initially skipped due to concerns regarding their depiction of violence in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. These episodes ultimately aired on Adult Swim from Dec. 17, 2001 to Feb. 15, 2002.


It’s unfortunate that this adaptation was cancelled before people could get a good sense of whether they truly liked it or not. Showrunner André Nemec wanted to remix and remaster the original and even started setting up a second season — with the introduction of Ed and the “Butterfly Man”.


However, despite two failed anime adaptations under its belt, Netflix isn’t giving up just yet. There are still several projects in the pipeline including a live-action One Piece, live-action YuYu Hakusho, and a live-action Gundam movie in the works.


Here are some anime series that never got a second season.


Photos via Netflix