“This is especially tough because I know how many of you loved this season,” Young wrote. “It’s a heartbreaking silver lining, but a silver lining all the same.”
Based on Winx Club, a popular Italian magical girl cartoon, Fate: The Winx Saga took a darker, edgier approach to the fairies at Alfea College. Young is best known for his work on The Vampire Diaries, and when he spoke with us earlier this year, he talked about how he tried to bring a similar energy to the show when it came to keeping viewers on edge with plot twists and big reveals. Fate: The Winx Club wasn’t as bright and sparkly as the animated series it was based on, but it was exciting and dramatic in a way that made you just want to keep watching more.
Unfortunately, Fate: The Winx Club is just the latest title on Netflix’s ever-growing hit list. Like First Kill, Teenage Bounty Hunters, The Baby-Sitter’s Club, and Julie and the Phantoms, Fate: The Winx Saga also had a specific audience of tween and teenage girls. All these shows got axed after just one or two seasons. Of course, they’re not the only Netflix shows to not get renewed after just one or two seasons. But it is jarring how many of the shows made unapologetically for young women don’t get a chance to grow, despite solid viewership or critical acclaim.
Was Fate: The Winx Saga as good as The Baby-Sitter’s Club or Julie and the Phantoms? Objectively, no, it wasn’t. And admittedly, it’s not a one-to-one comparison, as the audience for Fate: The Winx Saga skews older than the audience of those two shows. But Fate: The Winx Saga was on Netflix’s Top 10 for five weeks (the same as Cobra Kai’s fifth season), which indicates that people were at least watching it. Unfortunately, Netflix’s metrics system is a fog even to creators, and if a show comes out at the same time as something wildly popular then it may be doomed even if it does well.
Not every show can be as popular as Stranger Things or Squid Game, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth investing in. Tailoring something to a niche audience isn’t going to provide the next smash hit right away. In the age of streaming, where everyone is looking for a big cash cow, these shows rarely get a chance to find their footing or grow their audience before the powers that be decide that they’re not worth keeping around.