Amazon cancels one of Prime Video's best Originals — and fans are furious

Josh Brolin and Lili Taylor in Outer Range season 2
Josh Brolin and Lili Taylor in Outer Range season 2. (Image credit: Amazon Studios)

Whenever people asked me what's worth watching on Prime Video, I'd direct them to the oft-overlooked sci-fi mystery series Outer Range, which got its second season in May this year. I won't be able to do that much longer though, knowing that the story will never finish, and that's because Amazon has just cancelled Outer Range.

This news was confirmed in a report by Deadline, which gave no reason for the company choosing not to continue with an Outer Range season 3. It did, however, point out that viewership figures for the show were pretty high.

Outer Range is about a rancher who discovers a mysterious hole in his land — this comes as mysterious things start happening around the town, a feud with expansionist neighbors turns bloody and an odd young woman arrives at the rancher's land. There's a lot happening and it seemed to point towards some massive underlying mystery tying everything together.

With some fantastic performances and a tantalizing central mystery, Outer Range was really popular with audiences and critics alike, making it one of Amazon's best-rated shows. This was despite its frustratingly plodding place, which may explain why I never managed to finish the second season despite loving the first. Maybe I'm why Amazon canceled the show?

I might be in the minority for this, though. Like classic genres show Lost, the show spent its runtime raising far more questions than it answered, teeing up viewers for some massive revelations, and now fans are never going to get the conclusion they so desperately want. And they are NOT happy.

In the comments of the Deadline article, fans are maligning the cancellation of another mystery show before any answers are provided. "I won’t watch any more of their series no matter what it is. They get you hooked and leave you hanging with so many unanswered questions" says one, called Terry, and an anonymous commenter said "What a shame! Another great show canceled by those who can’t recognize an amazing series cast story and potential!". 

A third commenter, said "I’m so exhausted getting interested in shows only to have the streamers cancel them before closing the story." Of 53 comments to the article (at the time of writing), basically all are upset about the decision.

It's a similar case on Twitter where people are echoing this frustration:

It is a little galling to see Amazon cancel a popular original sci-fi series when it's also putting so much money into a ludicrous number of sports documentaries and incredibly expensive yet divisive series like The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (reportedly the most expensive series ever made by a dramatic margin).

As pointed out by an above Twitter commenter, this isn't the first popular original sci-fi series that Amazon has canceled. Most of its continuing sci-fi/fantasy hits that are still going are based on existing works like The Boys, The Wheel of Time and Fallout.

Given how quick most streaming services are to cancel shows, it's hard to get invested in any slow-burn mystery when the rug could be pulled at any moment. One exception that I'll recommend to any sci-fi fan is Apple TV Plus, as that streamer has a proven track record of investing in science-fiction stories and renewing them for more. I'm most looking forward to Foundation season 3, but there's also Silo season 2 coming soon as well as more seasons of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, For All Mankind, Invasion and Severance.

That won't help Outer Range season 2 fans, but it'll save you from being burned as much in the future.

Tom Bedford
Streaming and Ecommerce Writer

Tom is the streaming and ecommerce writer at What to Watch, covering streaming services in the US and UK. His goal is to help you navigate the busy and confusing online video market, to help you find the TV, movies and sports that you're looking for without having to spend too much money.